Charleston Mayor Joe Riley highlighted the city’s booming good health in his annual State of the City address tonight but stepped into the national gun debate by asking residents to lobby the mostly Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation to get behind President Obama in the weeks ahead.

“We should encourage our senators and congressmen to support President Obama’s common-sense gun control program that would eliminate high capacity magazines, ban assault weapons, close loopholes and create a universal background check for the purchase of guns,” Riley said.

“These measures and others will reduce gun violence in our country and in this community,” he added.

The comments were part of a 23-page, half-hour address in which Riley delivered a mostly upbeat speech about the city’s recent past and future, though few new initiatives were revealed.

One reason for the tightness, he said, is that Charleston has more projects in the works than ever, ranging from the Gaillard Center makeover, re-doing the Battery seawalls and opening of new parks.

“We’ve never had more on our plate,” Riley said after his official remarks had concluded.