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Community-based bid to strengthen family ties before Manteca City Council
Volunteers gather after painting the “The Family City” mural in the 200 block of North Main Street in 2010. - photo by Bulletin file photo

It is a simple initiative that could pay big dividends for Manteca — strengthen families.

The Manteca Leadership Roundtable believes the first step toward that goal is to get the City Council to officially embrace the concept by declaring Sunday nights as Manteca Family Night.

The goal is to get community organizations to join the effort by minimizing scheduling  impacts on families by preserving  at least one night a week of quality time together if families so chose. Sunday was picked as the best night for Manteca Family Night as it is already the least impacted with scheduled meetings and practices.

The proposed resolution before the council reads, “Families face unprecedented challenges that can negatively impact them: insufficient quality time, unresolved conflicts, poor mental/physical health, death, unemployment, debt, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, media/technology saturation, and even wholesome but demanding athletic, academic, or social commitments. . . . The Manteca Leadership Roundtable has proposed that the City of Manteca and other organizations can assist families is by minimizing schedule impacts on the family and preserving at least one night a week of quality time together if they so choose.  Manteca Family Night aims to be free of meetings, practices, and activities sponsored by governments and other organizations, except where subject to commitments outside of Manteca.”

Having an official family night declared in a city whose motto is “The Family City” in a bid to encourage a collaborative effort to strengthen families within the community is one of a number of efforts the group has suggested.

It came out of ongoing monthly meetings since late 2017 to discuss the biggest challenges facing Manteca that includes at-risk youth and homelessness. The roundtable consists of representatives from Manteca Unified School District, the City of Manteca, Manteca Rotary, Sunrise Kiwanis, the faith community, the Manteca Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Manteca.

The roundtable cited extensive research that indicates disrupted families are more likely to struggle with children’s aggressive behavior in school, conflict and crime, drugs and alcohol, and suicide.

“While the resolution and adoption of Sunday nights as Manteca Family Night will not incur any direct fiscal impacts, it should be noted that the city funds millions of expenses annually to address crimes, attend to issues with homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, family disputes, and behavior issues at schools,” City Manager Tim Ogden noted in a memo to the council. “With strengthened families, the city could (eventually) save millions of precious taxpayer funds.”

Ogden said while no other commitment is currently being requested of the city, he did not the Manteca Leadership Roundtable may seek help in the future implementing pro-family strategies that may include community events celebrating families.

The Manteca City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email