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Millennial committee is no longer
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Millennials, they said, are Manteca’s future.

That was 30 months ago when the Manteca City Council formed a Millennial Advisory Committee.

The expressed goal was to snare more up and coming entrepreneurs and coveted workforce expertise by finding out what the city could do to attract more millennials.

It was a page ripped out of the playbook of snaring cutting edge economic growth employed by Charlotte, Omaha, and Philadelphia among other places.

The biggest champions were Gary Singh — the only council member that falls in the demographic of being born between 1980 and 2000 — as well as Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu.
They wanted to know what millennials wanted in terms of a community, city services, and how the city could lure more of them to make Manteca home for their families and businesses.

Council members back in January 2020 noted that the bulk of home sales in Manteca were powered by millennials.

Cantu said it was important to know what they wanted in a community given one generation is not a carbon copy of what went before.

The more focused general aims were to:

*Help develop initiatives focused on attracting and retaining millennial residents.

*Connect the millennial generation to engagement opportunities with the larger community.

*Create a mentorship model to engage those who are new or returning to citizenship — read that government involvement.

*Improving quality of life by providing recommendations to programs and actions consistent with making Manteca a desirable place to live, work, and recreate.

*Merging the existing worlds of the tried and true community professionals with the next wave of business owners, advocates, and residents.

*Create an outlet for emerging visionaries to play a role in the city’s continued success.

 *The committee’s goals included addressing financial future, social justice, community and neighborhood development, and innovation and technology.

On Tuesday, the council pulled the plug on the Manteca Millennial Advisory Committee.

They had the option of making it a permanent commission as cities like Charlotte have done.

But they determined it was no longer necessary.

It turns out millennials are still coming to Manteca given more than 2,400 new homes and existing homes exchanged hands in the past 30 months in the city. And, as the council pointed out in 2020, the overwhelming buyers are millennials with Bay Area paychecks more robust than most earned in the valley trying to find affordable housing and a place to raise their families.

And judging by a power point presentation the committee created that the council opted not to play at Tuesday’s meeting because none of the members were present, their concerns about what the city needs to do as well as general observations aren’t all that much different than those expressed by Generation X, Baby Boomers and those of the World War II generation that were born before them.

Among comments individual members of the nine-member committee that were included in the power point were:

*”(The city is) great at developing and building new homes.”

*“The citizens I’ve spoken with are up in  arms with how Manteca has been run and the direction it is going. They’re not happy with the infrastructure, homeless, economic and planning development. I believe the city needs to do a better job with their outreach to citizens and be more transparent with what they’re doing with growth.”

*”Schools and parks offer a sense of community and proximity to those amenities are excellent.”

*(There is a) lack of diversity in businesses and establishments. As the city grows, it is very important to embrace diversity as this will fuel the growth of the city in general.”

The committee’s prioritized recommendation starting with the top one is as follows:

*Encourage development of jobs that pay living wages.

*Develop/maintain/expand arts and culture within the city.

*More mixed housing and code enforcement for builders.

*Maintaining or expanding more parks and recreation activities funding.

*Educating citizens about the financial health, revenue positions and city services choices.

*Educating citizens about Manteca’s city plan for land use and basic development plans.
*Educating citizen about city government infrastructure and democracy basics.

*Making home-based business start-ups easier.

*Steps and enforcement for sustainable groundwater management along with city growth.

*Opening up container permits at city spaces.

By stepping away from the committee, the city is losing the social media presence they made with 1,600 followers. The group featured teachers, business and leaders from all over the city as well as highlighted events, programs, and activities from throughout the region.

They also answered questions posed by  residents based on their interactions with city staff and elected leaders to understand the workings of government.

The committee started just three months before the pandemic hit.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email