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Ripon, Manteca lobby for whole cities proposal
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Ripon’s elected leaders are joining forces with their Manteca counterparts in a bid to sway the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors to go with a “whole cities” approach to redistricting.

The proposal advanced by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors keeps Manteca split between two supervisors’ districts as it has been for 20 years. It also takes part of a recent area just annexed to the city and puts it in a third district. That same plan lumps Ripon in the same district as Lodi. It also puts the River Islands segment of Lathrop planned in that city into a separate district.

Manteca has taken the lead with an alternative plan they have been lobbying the board to adopt instead. That plan is subbed the “Whole Cities Concept” reappointment option.

Highlights of that “Whole Cities Concept” includes:

•District 1 is extended south to include the entire City of Manteca.

•District 2 is more urban and geographically compact.

•District 3 incorporates more of North Stockton and retains Lathrop.

•District 4 retains semi-rural residential in East Stockton and loses Escalon.

•District 5 retains Ripon and incorporates Escalon in the same district with Tracy to unify South San Joaquin agriculture which has some distinctively different issues than the northern, eastern and western portions of the county.

•All cities – except Stockton which is too large – are wholly contained in their respective supervisor districts. It ends the Manteca split that has existed since 1990.

•Escalon is restored to District 5 to end the political gerrymandering brought about in the 2000 reapportionment plan.

•District 1 – which would include Manteca – would have a significant Democrat majority as that district does now.

•Districts 2 and 3 – eastern Stockton and accompanying rural areas and the area west of Stockton along with Lathrop.   – would still retain a slightly Democratic registration edge.

•District 4 consisting of Lodi with the rest of the north and east county would retain its significant Republican majority.

•District 5 that includes Tracy and Ripon but would lose south and east urbanized areas of Manteca - would retain it’s nearly even split between Democrats and Republicans.

•District 1 – that would include Manteca – would retain a significant Hispanic majority

The county proposal would throw all of Manteca north of Yosemite Steve Avenue to Highway 99 into Bestolarides’ district while that south of Yosemite and east of Highway 99 would go into Leroy Ornellas’ district. Lathrop would stay a part of Bestolarides’ district. Ripon would join Escalon as part of Ken Vogel’s district that encompasses Lodi and the North County.

The proposal to keep Manteca whole creates five districts ranging in population from 130,693 to 140,147. The current county proposals have districts with populations ranging from 136,702 to 137,657.

The Manteca Chamber of Commerce as well as the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau have gone on record supporting the alternative. The Manteca City Council has formally voted to ask that Manteca be kept whole and not continue as the only city split in the county. The Ripon council has officially embraced the plan as well.