Nathaniel Bates

City Council
Title: Councilmember
Phone: 510-620-6743

About Nat
Nathaniel Rubin Bates is the senior member of the Richmond City Council. He began his tenure as a City Councilmember in 1967 and has since been re-elected nine times; most recently in 2018. During approximately four decades of public service as a councilmember he has served twice as mayor and several times as vice-mayor. At age 90 on September 9, 2021, Councilman Bates holds the distinguished honor of being the oldest elected public official in a city with a population over 100,000 not only in the state of California but also in the nation.

In addition to his city council responsibilities, his County, State and National colleagues over the years have elected him as Chairman of the Contra Costa Mayors Conference, President of the East Bay Division, Chairman of the California League of Cities, Public Safety and Board of Directors, Chairperson of the National League of Cities Public Safety Committee, Board of Directors National League of Cities and lifetime appointment to the National League of Cities Advisory Board Council.

 As a result of the above appointments and especially to the Board of Directors, National League of Cities, Councilman Bates has had the honor, pleasure and privilege of working directly or indirectly with eleven presidents of the USA and their staff, as well as Congress members in setting positive policies for cities throughout the nation. The first was with Lyndon Johnson, followed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and next was one of his two favorites, Jimmie Carter who he worked with to provide significant funding for the John Knox Freeway, and Ronald Reagan who he also worked with during his tenure as the California Governor. Other presidents include George Bush, who he had the pleasure of serving on a committee with him when he was vice president, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and of course another favorite, Barack Obama, who along with the First Lady Michelle invited him to his first and only White House Christmas Celebration, and most recently Donald Trump and newly elected, Joseph Biden.


  • El Cerrito High School Graduate
  • Contra Costa Community College, AA Degree
  • San Francisco State College, BA Degree 
  • California State East Bay, Teachers Credential 


  • City of Richmond Recreation Department
  • United States Postal Service
  • United States Military, Korea
  • Field Representative, Senator Dan Boatwright - Retired
  • Alameda County Probation Department, Unit Supervisor (35 years) - Retired

 Local Community Involvement Past and Present:

  • NAACP Lifetime member
  • Founding member and former president, Richmond Democratic Club
  • Former member and president, West County Boys and Girls Club 
  • Former member and president, Richmond Boys Club
  • Former member and president, El Sobrante Boys and Girls Club
  • Former member and president, YMCA Richmond 
  • Honorary member, Galileo Club, Richmond
  • Founding member and president BMW Black Men & Women PAC  
  • Richmond-Shimada Friendship Commission, City Council Liaison
  • Richmond-Zhoushan Friendship Commission
  • National League of Cities, Lifetime Advisory Board Member
  • Former president, Contra Costa County Mayors Conference
  • Former president, League of California Cities East Bay Division
  • Hall of Fame induction in sports, El Cerrito High School
  • Hall of Fame induction in sports, Contra Costa College
  • Hall of Fame induction, Indian Head Rockets Baseball, Saskatchewan, Canada



Daughter: Gale Bates Anderson

Son: Larry Nathaniel Bates

Son: Steven Christopher Bates

Grand Children (8)

Great Grandchildren (9)





Return to Staff Directory