Nat Bates

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Nathaniel Bates)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Nathaniel Bates is a former mayor and seven-term city councilmember of Richmond, California.


Bates was a city councilmember from 1967 to 1983 and again from 1995 to the present. He was chosen as mayor for 1971-1972 (during which time he was the first African-American to chair the Contra Costa Mayors Conference) and again for 1976–1977.[1] He was the third African-American mayor of Richmond after George B. Carroll. His seven terms on the city council are unprecedented in the city of Richmond, and his 32 years of service make him one of the longest-serving city councilmembers in the state. He is a Democrat.[citation needed]

In 2001 there was a controversy between him and councilman John Marquez over who received more time at the microphone at the city's Cinco de Mayo event.[2]

Bates claimed the event should have been called "Marquez de Mayo" and stated that he just wanted time to address the crowd as well.[2] City manager when questioned stated "he did not want to touch" the matter and later Bates requested an investigation into the conduct by the parks department and filed a complaint with mayor Rosemary Corbin.[2] The East Bay Express newspaper published a political cartoon of him characterized as a "big baby".[2]

In 2011 when deciding placing the first in the nation municipal soda tax ballot he voted no.[3] He stated he felt it would lead people to buy soda outside the city, and that it targeted black people.[3] Although the latter was contradicted by his fellow councilmember Jovanka Beckels who is also black and chastized him and Corky Boozé (also black) for not supporting the measure that she reported disproportionately affected people of color.[3]


Bates has lived in Richmond since the 1940s. He is a retired probation officer.[4] He spent two seasons in the 1950s playing professional baseball in western Canada.[5] He holds a BA from San Francisco State University and a teaching credential from CSU Hayward (now called CSU East Bay).[citation needed]

He was a National League of Cities Board director from 1976–1980 and has a lifetime appointment to National League of Cities Advisory Board since 1980. He is the senior member and "dean" of the city council.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

With his late wife, Shirley Christine Adams Bates, he had four children (one of whom is deceased), in addition to seven grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren (as of 2006).


  1. ^ "Biographies & Terms: Nathaniel Bates",; accessed December 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Flag Waving in Berkeley; Lawsuit on Public School Conditions in Oakland Goes Forward, East Bay Express; accessed June 11, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Alexis Kenyon, City Council moves forward with soda tax, Richmond Confidential; accessed December 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Richmond's Green Mayor Faces Formidable Challenge,, September 9, 2010.
  5. ^ Stahl, Michael (April 30, 2017). "The secret history of black baseball players in Canada's great white north". Salon. Retrieved April 30, 2017.

External links[edit]

External image
Bates parodied as infantile