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Berkeley Mayor sends first tweet

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APRIL 18, 2012

Though Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates created a Twitter account in April 2009, the feed remained tweet-free over the three years that followed.

As of Wednesday, however, that has changed. At 12:45 p.m., Bates tweeted about disability activist Hale Zukas, ending his three-year stint of cyber-silence.

“I thought was was time for me to join the new generation,” Bates told local news blog Berkeleyside. “Berkeley is supposed to be where things start, but in this case, we’re going to be followers.”

Bates is no newcomer to technology, however. In regards to his active Facebook account, Bates told Berkeleyside that “we try to keep that pretty fresh,” adding that it is a city account and therefore “not political at all.”

Bates told Berkeleyside that his Twitter account will not be a city account either and that “everything will be done out of the office.”

Bates is joining a host of other politicians already utilizing the social networking site. While Twitter-ers like Barack Obama and Anthony Weiner have garnered national attention for their posts – for a running mate announcement and lewd photograph, respectively – local politicians, like Oakland’s Jean Quan and San Francisco’s Ed Lee, have also taken to the site.

In Berkeley, Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin are also presences on Twitter, with tweet subjects ranging from the political to the silly.

Meanwhile, a parody Twitter account surfaced yesterday for the mayor. Fake Tom Bates has 10 followers, compared to the actual mayor’s 331 followers. The satirical tweets poke fun at Bates’ recent emergence into the Twittersphere.


Contact Shannon Najmabadi at 


APRIL 18, 2012