Mayor Bates announces re-election bid for November

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Edwin Cho/File

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Ten-year incumbent Mayor Tom Bates announced Thursday that he intends to seek another term for Berkeley mayor come this November.

If re-elected, this will be Bates’ fourth term as mayor. Despite criticism that his long tenure discourages new blood from taking a hold of the reins, Bates maintains that his role as mayor is pivotal for the city.

“I am a regional and city player,” Bates said.

He cited his extensive time in the California State Assembly as evidence of his political experience. Moreover, Bates emphasized his strong regional involvement in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Bay Area Air Quality Management Board, SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission and Joint Policy Commission.

Bates further insisted that any individuals interested in running for mayor ought to have considerable political experience.

“They need to have a lifetime of public service,” Bates said. “Hopefully, they have the opportunity to gain experience to gain the position as mayor later.”

No other candidates have yet filed the necessary papers to declare candidacy for mayor, but the filing period for candidate nomination papers runs July 16 to Aug. 10, according to city spokesperson Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.

Local activist Zachary RunningWolf, who has run for Berkeley mayor in the past, said he plans to file the preliminary paperwork to run again for mayor in June.

“I will be in the race,” RunningWolf said. “I expect to win.”

Bates said that, personally, he sees his run for office as an effort to keep himself grounded with the concerns of Berkeley citizens.

“Campaigning is an opportunity to hear what people have to say and hear what concerns are,” Bates said. “It’s a very important learning experience for me.”

In terms of policy and what he seeks to accomplish, Bates circled back to nearly a decade ago — his first run as Berkeley’s mayor.

“When I first got elected, I had five main goals that still exist,” Bates said.

These five goals consist of establishing Berkeley as a leader in addressing global warming, expanding work and housing opportunities in the city, emphasizing children and bridging achievement gaps, providing excellent city services and revitalizing the Downtown area.

In the future, Bates said he hoped to expand on these issues, especially bringing more job opportunities to the area. He pointed to the establishment of Skydeck during his tenure — a joint UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory venture to encourage local tech-based startups.

Bates also holds a number of short-term goals in mind, especially focusing on Telegraph Avenue. He mentioned the possibility of bringing Wi-Fi to the Telegraph area.

He also wants to see a balanced budget passed by the beginning of July and to resolve the city’s current pension issues with labor unions.

The other offices up for re-election this November include City Council seats for districts two, three, five and six as well as four seats on the rent board and two school board seats.

Councilmember Laurie Capitelli announced his intention to run for a third term earlier this month, and Councilmember Susan Wengraf has also confirmed that she will also be running again. Councilmember Darryl Moore has also announced that he will be seeking re-election this year and expressed his support for Bates’ run as well.

“I support the mayor’s re-election,” Moore said. “I think he’s done a terrific job — provided excellent leadership to the council and to the city.”

Staff writer Anjuli Sastry contributed to this report.

Jaehak Yu covers city government.

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  • Hail to the Thief

    No more crooked career politicians!  This guy steals newspapers:  see “Police Say Mayor Stole Newspapers”:  http://archive.dailycal.org/article/10513/police_say_mayor_stole_newspapers

    • Stan De San Diego

      > Police Say Mayor Stole Newspapers
      > By Mike Meyers, Nate Tabak and R. Tyler Hillman
      > Daily Cal Staff Writers
      > Friday, December 6, 2002
      >
      >Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates has admitted responsibility for stealing and
      >trashing about 1,000 copies of The Daily Californian that carried the
      >student newspaper’s endorsement of his opponent, police said yesterday.

      Thanks for that “blast from the past” and reminder of how autocratic and underhanded lefties can get when they don’t get their way.

  • Stan De San Diego

    “These five goals consist of establishing Berkeley as a leader in
    addressing global warming, expanding work and housing opportunities in
    the city, emphasizing children and bridging achievement gaps, providing
    excellent city services and revitalizing the Downtown area.”

    Let me guess, he hasn’t achieved them yet, which is his rationale for being re-elected.

    • I_h8_disqus

      Maybe he is looking to increase global warming, because the recycling program was reduced.  Looking at the downtown, I think work opportunities have dropped and no revitalizing has happened.  I can’t think of any new housing, but I have seen how the city is constantly harassing people who live in houses that are rented to multiple people.  I never see any kids around Berkeley so they must be emphasized in areas I don’t go through.  And the city services bite when you consider that just about every inch of Berkeley street requires a parking permit, so they should have plenty of revenue to take care of services when added to all the property taxes they collect on all the houses around.

  • Guest

    [ Councilmember Darryl Moore has also announced that he will be
    seeking re-election this year and expressed his support for Bates’ run
    as well.“I support the mayor’s re-election,” Moore said. “I think
    he’s done a terrific job — provided excellent leadership to the council
    and to the city.”]

    Moore is such a fucking sycophant.

  • I_h8_disqus

    Has anybody seen anything change in Berkeley from 10 years ago?  It seems to look the same to me since I have been here.

    • Guest

      It’s still run by liberal clowns like Bates and his posse of sycophants.