By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Zapien: Build Manteca center
Hopeful seeks better South County access to services
Placeholder Image

The rise of South San Joaquin County isn’t lost on Moses Zapien.
While Stockton-Lodi since the birth of the county in 1850 has held the cards in terms of population and economic muscle, the trend is clear: The South County is the epicenter of growth. A third of the county’s population is now south of Stockton. By 2050 it will be close to half.
It is why Zapien — appointed to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat late last year to represent Manteca north of Yosmeite Avenue, Lathrop, northern and western parts of Stockton and the Delta — is making building a county service center in Manteca a top priority.
“Manteca is central to the South County,” Zapien said.
The county has already secured a site in Manteca at Milo Candini Drive and Daniels Street directly across from the Big League Dreams sports complex just off the 120 Bypass-Airport Way interchange.
The preliminary vision calls for two buildings covering 150,000 square feet. The plan calls to locate satellite offices for human services, health services including a clinic, child support payments, agricultural commissioner, assessor, and tax collector. It could create as many as 400 jobs.
 It is questionable whether courtrooms will be built there but if they are offices for the public defender, district attorney, sheriff’s department, and probation department will also be included in the complex.
Zapien sees extending BART to an Altamont Corridor Express station as well as upgrading ACE tracks over the Altamont Pass to slash at least 45 minutes off rail commutes as essential to alleviate traffic congestion on the I-205/I-580 corridor and to improve the quality of life for San Joaquin County commuters as well as to plant the seeds for a reverse commute.
A reverse commute would give Bay Area firms the option of expanding or even relocating to the Northern San Joaquin Valley to take advantage of an improving labor pool as well as less expensive labor and land while at the same time allowing key employees with established homes in the Bay Area to commute via rail.
Zapien also wants to see the county take the lead in a joint regional effort to address homeless issues.
“It’s a countywide problem that requires a coordinated effort to address,” Zapien said.
Protecting agriculture — the top employer in San Joaquin County — is an absolute for Zapien. That means he is against the Twin Tunnels or any endeavor that damages the Delta and/or farming in order to export water to elsewhere in California.
Zapien, along with the rest of the Board of Supervisors, are suing to block the Metropolitan Water District serving Los Angeles and a large chunk of Southern California from buying 20,000 acres in the eastern county that lies in the path of the Twin Tunnels.
Zapien also wants the county to push for improved literacy, a higher high school graduation rate, and post-secondary education opportunities to upgrade the workforce to allow residents to secure better paying jobs.
Also on his agenda are safer and healthier neighborhoods, pushing for economic development and job creation, striving to make sure the county is fiscally responsible along with being transparent and accountable to residents and taxpayers.
Zapien’s parents migrated from Mexico to work in the Delta farmlands. They eventually established their own denture manufacturing concern in 1980 that they still operate today. Born and raised in Stockton, he became the first in his family to graduate from college as he attended both the University of the Pacific and the University of Southern California. Zapien earned his law degree from the Laurence Drivon School of Law.
Zapien served on the Stockton City Council from 2013 to 2015. He has worked as an associate attorney in private practice as well as a criminal prosecutor handling misdemeanor crimes such as elderly abuse driving under the influence, domestic violence cases through the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
His community service endeavors include serving on the Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County, the Beyond Our Gates advisory board for UOP, and is co-founder of the Little Free Libraries Stockton Association that has a goal of establishing 100 neighborhood book exchanges in low literacy areas.
Zapien has been recognized for his collaborative work to promote child literacy by San Joaquin A+, the International Reading Association, and the San Joaquin County Reading Association. As a result of his policy work to champion sustainable, healthier communities, Zapien was named a Healthy Growth Leader by the American Lung Association —one of a handful of recipients in the Central Valley and the only person in San Joaquin County to earn that distinction. Zapien was also named as one of Comstock Magazine’s 10 Young Change Leaders to Watch in 2015.
Zapien maintains open office hours in Lathrop and Manteca. In Lathrop it is the first Monday of the month from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Lathrop Senior Center. His Manteca hours are noon to 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Manteca Senior Center.
Zapien is running for election in the June 7 primary.