Nat Bates Wants to Serve As Richmond’s Mayor Again

He considers experience and leadership in supporting jobs a winning combination

By Tasion

Nat Bates

Nat Bates, who has served as the city’s mayor twice before, is now looking for a third re-election to help Richmond return to its former greatness.
Being mayor of a city requires a high level of commitment and assertiveness to get the job done. With high homicide and growing unemployment rates, the city of Richmond is well aware that its next mayor must be a person of high caliber who knows how to get the job done.
Bates is running against incumbent Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and John W. Zieshenne, insurance broker and former Richmond City Council member.
Bates remembers relocating to Richmond in the 1940s when people were coming to California to obtain jobs in the shipyards. He attended local schools and Contra Costa College and earned a degree in psychology at San Francisco State University. He later earned teaching credentials from what is now named Cal State University East Bay.
Bates’ political career began in 1967 when he was elected to the city council, serving until 1983, a total of 16 years of service. During this period, the council elected the mayor, and Bates held the position twice, serving in 1971-1972 and 1976-1977.
Bates began working for the Alameda County Probation Department in 1958, retiring in1989.  He then took a position as field representative for California Senator Dan Boatwright, working for him until 1993.
Returning to the City Council in 1995, Bates has continued to demonstrate his integrity, leadership, and commitment to the city of Richmond by getting the job done. He currently serves as the dean of the City Council.
Bates decided to run for mayor again because he says he is disappointed with the direction and the lack of leadership in Richmond. He says he is unhappy with the city’s  “green” mayor, Gayle McLaughlin.
“We have what we call a Green Party mayor, who focuses on green jobs, and that does not measure up to what the city and community truly needs,” Bates said. “She is restricting herself by only focusing on green jobs.”
Bates cited the Target Store debate as an example of how a Mayor has to have a balanced economic plan that includes strong support of businesses.   “A strong business community means more jobs and more revenues to support vital city services. Target was brought in and supplied 300 jobs, but she voted against it because it wasn’t green enough, he said. “I look at all jobs in respect to what we need. The quality of life starts with having a job.”
“Jobs bring dignity. Jobs allow our citizens to support their families and contribute to this city. Jobs and the hope of employment are the best deterrents to crime,” he said.
With Richmond’s unemployment level at nearly 20 percent, Bates believes this problem and other major issues of housing, education, and crime need to be tackled more aggressively. He says his experience, knowledge, and commitment to Richmond are what set him apart from other candidates.
“Leadership does not deal with age; it deals with experience and knowledge,” Bates said. “I’m healthy, energized, and I want to move my city with the forward with the goals we have.
“Am I productive, and can I deliver? Time and time again, I have proven that to the City of Richmond,” he said.
For information about the Nat Bates campaign for mayor, go to

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