Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I have been alarmed by the recent violent activity in Manteca and was perusing the Bulletin for any news about what progress has been made and what we will do as a community. When I happened upon the blurb that said that Mayor Willie Weatherford was speaking at an event that will be open to the public on Thursday, where concerned citizens could get together and talk over the problem, I was relieved.
When I noted that it was being sponsored by the Manteca Patriots group, I was puzzled. By having the event sponsored by any political party, it suggests that the members of the community that do not subscribe to said party are not welcome or at the very least, they will have to tolerate a point of view at the meeting which is not valuable to this discussion. Community violence doesn’t seem to be a political issue.
Nor does it seem to be an issue that can be solved by railing against big government or worrying about the future of the free market system. It is a community issue where we should all be able to gather, regardless of politics, and discuss. I fully support Mayor Weatherford wanting to get together with supporters at other times, but not for this issue. This issue needs to be non-partisan. Also, I am not a minority, myself, but I would imagine there are members of this community who are minorities and may agree with the policies of our president, and who, like me, would feel unwelcome by the Tea Party’s feelings about immigration and some progressive ideas. There may be people who are apolitical, who would also be put off by the event’s environment. The mayor should represent all constituents, not just some.
I feel pushed out by the sponsored nature of this event and feel it is a clear example of an event where members should feel comfortable to get together with other members without bringing politics into it - what else is a “community” for?
Alisen A. Kona
June 26, 2012