Burgess kicked off his campaign on Tuesday by filing disclosure reports with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
"I think it's really important that we get new leadership in the mayor's office in Seattle," Burgess said. "We face some significant challenges in this city and I believe I have the ability to bring people together, to bridge differences and get things done for the people of Seattle and I'm eager to do that."
Burgess has been a member of the city council since 2007, and is currently serving his second term.
"The challenges we face in public safety and transportation and public education and caring for the most vulnerable citizens in our city," Burgess said. "All of those things require really critical and creative thinking and I have the skills to do that and we'll see if the voters of Seattle agree."
Burgess and Mayor Mike McGinn haven't always agreed. They were on opposing sides of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and tunnel project. Burgess also wants street car expansion and transportation improvements.
"It's important that we fix our streets and maintain them well and finish those projects that we've started," Burgess said.
The former radio journalist and consultant did support the mayor on the recent deals over the proposed SoDo arena. But Burgess wanted more, making a multimillion dollar demand for road improvements by the Port of Seattle.
"I worked with my colleagues on the council to make that a better deal for the people of Seattle," he said.
But Burgess' former job may help him get the new one -- the former police officer wants SPD to be better.
"We want to see substantive cultural change inside our police department," Burgess said.
This week's newly-released dash cam video could be an example of what Burgess called a cycle of problems with the public. But without calling for the ousting of Chief John Diaz, Burgess says he wants a change in leadership.
"I think there needs to be new directions in the police department," he said.
McGinn's campaign manager said Tuesday night that the mayor actually hasn't even decided if he will run again. McGinn will speak with his family over the holidays and make a decision. Either way, there will be an opponent waiting in the primary.