David Cushman — a 23-year-old experiencing first-hand on how tough it is for a young couple to work and live in Manteca — is running for the City Council in the Nov. 8 election.
Incumbent Debby Moorhead has indicated she is seeking re-election to one of two available seats. Insurance agent and former Manteca Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Zellner as well as Manteca real estate agent and businessman Gary Singh are also running. Both are members of the Manteca Planning Commission.
Vince Hernandez, who holds the other seat, is not running for re-election. He has indicated he is exploring the possibility of running for San Joaquin County Supervisor or the state Senate at a later date.
Cushman is a lifelong Manteca resident. Given the fact his wife Genevie both work and had a hard time finding a place to rent in Manteca, helps him understand the pressing need to secure more affordable housing for people to work and live in Manteca.
“Apartments are going for $1,000 if you can find them,” Cushman said. “We were blessed to be able to find housing.”
Given how difficult it was for him and his wife to secure housing, Cushman believes Manteca has a serious need to make sure that young people can afford to live in Manteca.
Looking back to 1992 when he was born, Cushman noted Manteca has grown significantly going from 47,000 residents to 75,000 today.
Cushman said he still wants Manteca to welcome people to move here but he wants to make sure what has made Manteca a “great place to live” isn’t lost as the city grows.
To meet that goal he intends to target efforts to breathe new life into downtown while enhancing the amenities that makes Manteca “The Family City.”
“I believe our city needs a new generation of leadership to solve the next generation of problems that we will be facing,” said Cushman. “The issues that Manteca will face in the next 10-15 years will require a new set of leaders, and I’m aiming to be one of those leaders.
“We’ve heard the same ideas from council members for many years now. Nothing is going to change unless we change who we send there.”
Among the issues that Cushman wants to address are ensuring the council maintains a sense of fiscal responsibility, making the council more accountable to citizens, and moving forward with new technology to safeguard Manteca’s economic competitiveness.
Cushman is advocating term limits for the mayor and council members, cutting wasteful and unnecessary spending, investing in small businesses and downtown merchants, and creating new job opportunities for Mantecans.
A primary focus of Cushman’s campaign will be on young voters. Cushman hopes that his candidacy helps young people become more engaged in politics and the election.
“I’m 23 years old, and young people like me don’t feel like they’re a part of the process anymore,” Cushman said. “ They see a government that isn’t responsive to their needs, and they don’t feel like there is a place for them in the political process. I’m here to say that not only is there a place for them, there is a candidate who shares their concerns.
“Young people need jobs, and they need to believe that their city offers a promising future for them — a future that offers promising careers and a stable place to raise their families. I am committed to fighting for this promising future for our young citizens, and for all the residents of our community. If I am elected to the city council, Manteca will have someone who listens to them and fights for them every day I have the opportunity to serve.”
Cushman is a lifelong resident of Manteca. He graduated from Manteca High School in 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from CSU Stanislaus in 2015. He has volunteered with the Manteca Historical Society and his church, Cornerstone Community Church. He is currently the chairman of the Manteca Tea Party Patriots, a local conservative political group. He and his wife Genevie reside in Manteca.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/DavidCushman2016.