Manteca, depending upon number crunching demographers and the whim of the current San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, could be headed into its fourth decade as a divided city when it comes to supervisorial representation.
And that according to Tom Patti who represents Manteca north of Yosemite Avenue on the county board might not be a bad thing.
“Right now the city has two supervisors that represent Manteca,” Patti said.
Patti also represents Lathrop north of the San Joaquin River, a portion of northwest as well as west Stockton, and the Delta. Robert Rickman represents Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue, Tracy, and Mountain House.
Patti noted Manteca civic leaders can enlist the support of two supervisors to advocate for them. The only other city with multiple representatives on the board is Stockton. They have three between Patti, Miguel Villapuda, and Katherine Miller.
The board will undertake redistricting later this year when the 2020 Census figures are released.
The last two times around Manteca community leaders tried to lobby the board to keep the city in one district.
In 2011, Ripon supported Manteca’s proposed alternative redistricting proposal. That’s because the plan advanced by the Whole Cities Coalition of Manteca and Ripon would not have thrown Ripon into the same supervisorial district as Lodi.
The board in 2011 on a 4-1 vote with then Supervisor Leroy Orenallas of Tracy dissenting went with the districting that is now in place.
Those supporting the county proposal and opposing the Manteca-based plan argued against it successfully. Their main points were:
*By cutting into Stockton and repacking the southern part of that city with Manteca to make Manteca whole and keep Ripon from being tossed in with Lodi it would have increased the number of white voters in District 1 by 80 percent and lowered the number of African American voters by 33 percent. By law, redistricting in California has to take into consideration creating districts where underrepresented minorities stand a better chance of getting elected.
*Manteca wanted to create a district where they could elect a Manteca resident to the board.
It’s been more than 40 years since a Manteca resident has been a supervisor. Except for the late Robert Cabral — an Escalon almond grower who was one of the main driving forces behind establishing the Altamont Corridor Express — a Tracy resident has represented all or part of Manteca.
Ripon being thrown in with Lodi didn’t stop former Ripon Councilman Chuck Winn from getting elected to the board despite half of the District 4 voters being within the City of Lodi. Stockton with roughly 40 percent or 315,000 of the county’s 767,000 resident has three residents of their city on the board.
But what really counts in redistricting is ethnicity. Based on the 2019 Census Bureau Quick Facts, 66.1 percent of the county is white or reporting they belong to only one race. Forty-two percent are Hispanics that based on Census definitions may be of any race and are therefore including in applicable race categories including white. But when the Census Bureau takes out anyone identifying as Latino or Hispanic who also list that they are white, the white alone drops to 30.5 percent.
After that Asian alone is 17.4 percent and Black or African American is 8.3 percent.
Since the redrawing of districts 11 years ago, home sales started at River Islands at Lathrop. There are now more than 5,000 residents south of the river instead of less than a dozen. That means Lathrop has joined Manteca with a populace divided between two supervisorial districts.
That means there is a potential Manteca — as well as Lathrop — could remain divided cities when the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors re-draw districts later this year.
The chances of that are tempered somewhat by the fact South County cities along with Mountain House have added 41,000 residents from 2010 to 2020. Compare that to Stockton and Lodi that have increased their population 30,000 during the same time frame.
That’s based on the 2010 Census and the 2020 California Department Finance population estimates. The state numbers reflect the Census population as a base added to population yields the state determines from building permits issued in various jurisdictions.
While the redistricting has to be done based on the official 2020 Census numbers, it reflects the challenge the board is up against.
District 5 — represented by Rickman — would appear to be the district with the largest population gain. That’s because the bulk of Manteca’s growth has been south of the 120 Bypass and the bulk of Lathrop’s growth has been south of the San Joaquin River. District 5 could easily have grown by 34,000 or 25 percent.
Based on that it is likely either Lathrop or Manteca may need to be placed entirely with Patti’s district boundaries given Rickman will need to shed population.
Patti has two people he has appointed to serve from his district on the county’s redistricting advisory committee. One of them is former Manteca Councilman Mike Morowit.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com