What could end up being the re-slicing of Manteca and Lathrop gets underway Tuesday when the Board of Supervisors considers awarding a $125,000 contract to a firm to reconfigure the five supervisorial districts.
The county has added 96,383 residents — almost the current population of Tracy — since 2010 when 687,156 people resided in SJ County. The 2020 census put the population at 783,534.
Over half of that growth — 51,340 — has been in the five South County cities of Manteca, Tracy, Lathrop, Ripon, and Escalon and what could in the near future become the county’s eighth city, Mountain House. Stockton has grown by 29,169 and Lodi by 6,617 to give what are considered the two north county cities a gain of 35,786 residents since 2010.
Tracy has added 15,697 residents, Mountain House 12,291, Lathrop 10,078, and Manteca 10,223.
When you take into account most of the growth in Manteca is south of the 120 Bypass and most of the growth in Lathrop has been in River Islands almost half of the county’s population growth in the past 10 years has been in the Fifth District that also includes fast growing Tracy and Mountain House. The Mountain House community is currently exploring incorporation.
Those census numbers as well as ethnic factors will weigh heavily in how redistricting takes place.
Redistricting is required every 10 years based on the formal census that takes place every 10 years.
Foremost is balancing the districts into near equal numbers of residents. The districts after the 2010 redistricting ranged from 133,112 and 141,294. The new districts will be near 156,000 residents each.
In 2010 the biggest grassroots based push in the Manteca area was to try and prevent Manteca from being split for the third straight decade between two supervisorial districts. Also tossing in Ripon and Escalon with Lodi as well as large swaths of eastern and northern rural areas met opposition in Ripon that also happens to be among the state’s fastest growing cities as well.
Given Manteca and Tracy are both growing at 2.9 percent and were tied for the third fastest growing cities over 30,000 in California during 2020 and are expected to continue to grow at that pace as the third decade of the 21st century unfolds, it presents a unique challenge.
Essentially the driving force of redistricting this time around may be to make sure one, two or three districts aren’t set up in a manner that they will grow significantly over the next 10 years compared to the remaining districts. Making matters dicey Lathrop continues to be a top growing city in the state as well and when the Department of Finance grouping for fastest growing cities has the 30,000 minimum dropped. Lathrop was California’s fastest growing city in 2020 with a 6 percent growth rate.
Currently Stockton is split primarily between three districts while Manteca and Lathrop are in two. Lathrop north of the San Joaquin River and Manteca north of Yosemite Avenue are in District 3 represented currently by Tom Patti as part of District 3. Lathrop south of the San Joaquin (River Islands) and Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue are currently represented by Robert Rickman as part of District 5.
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