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Tim Burgess
Former Mayor, City of Seattle; Former President, Seattle City Council
Interests: Early learning advocacy, justice reform, cooking, books, walks around Seattle.
Recent Activity
The most recent estimate of the number of people living unsheltered in Seattle was 3,738. These are homeless individuals, many with health or substance use challenges, that need a better, warmer and safer place to stay. Last week a friend... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2021 at Seattle Forward
I want to tell you about a young kid in Seattle. His family was poor. Conflict in his home occasionally turned violent. There was sexual assault by an outsider to his family. He didn’t do very well in school because... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at Seattle Forward
Seattle’s City Council will tomorrow morning consider cutting more funding — approximately $5.4 million — from police services; it's part of their plan to shrink the size of the police department. This new reduction would come on the heels of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at Seattle Forward
The tents, dilapidated vehicles, and piles of trash you see in almost every Seattle neighborhood have become an enduring fixture. So has the human suffering. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2021 at Seattle Forward
We — you and I — can change that with a compelling vision for the future, a future based on shared values and an unwavering commitment to the evidence of what works to strengthen the common good. Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2021 at Seattle Forward
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan's decision not to seek re-election didn't come as a total surprise, but it certainly creates uncertainty for our city going forward. When I write that it's not a surprise I mean that in today's political climate... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Seattle Forward
Just how out of touch some members of our City Council are became painfully clearer this week when prosecution of misdemeanor crimes was discussed. Some Council members want to make it more difficult to successfully prosecute these cases. Misdemeanor crimes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Seattle Forward
With national and local attention rightly being focused on policing and criminal justice reform, it is very important that we hear from experts who have studied these issues for years. One of these esteemed experts is University of Washington Professor... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post was first published Friday, August 14, 2020 in The Seattle Times. In its reckless rush to slash the police budget, the Seattle City Council has forced out Chief Carmen Best — the city’s first Black female police chief... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post was first published today at It was co-authored by myself and Bernard Melekian, DPPD. It took less than 9 minutes. That’s how long Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd, killing the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2020 at Seattle Forward
The challenges of policing in our country did not arise in a vacuum. They connect to a broad array of factors . . . They connect to the fact that in this country police shootings and police misconduct disproportionately affect... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2020 at Seattle Forward
A shorter version of this article was first published in The Seattle Times earlier this afternoon. Three Seattle City Council members — Tammy Morales, Teresa Mosqueda, Kshama Sawant — want to permit tent encampments almost everywhere citywide. This ill-conceived, very... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2020 at Seattle Forward
A shorter version of this article was first published at Crosscut on May 18, 2020, with my co-authors Gladys Gillis, owner of Starline Luxury Coaches in Seattle and immediate past chair of the national United Motor Coach Association and Jon... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post was first published in The Seattle Times on April 24, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has shattered our feelings of invincibility. It has exposed deep divides that separate us — inequities in education, economic opportunity, criminal justice and public... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2020 at Seattle Forward
While we are hunkered down at home, I’ve been thinking about why our country wasn’t at all prepared for this respiratory pandemic that is sweeping the globe. Not being prepared is going to cost us a lot in human and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2020 at Seattle Forward
Seattle’s downtown is booming. There are now 328,000 jobs located downtown, a 52% increase since 2010. Nearly 90,000 people now live downtown, including almost 5,000 children. In the decade ending in 2019, 286 new buildings were constructed, 4,050 new hotel... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2020 at Seattle Forward
Workers retiring into poverty is bad for workers and bad for all of us. Nudging workers to begin saving through a workplace payroll deduction IRA is a practical, effective step toward a brighter retirement. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post was first published earlier today at I've been thinking a lot about the violence last week in the core of downtown. I have felt anger, frustration and grief, topped off with irritation at the responses I’ve heard... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Seattle Forward
Former State Representative Ruth Kagi and I wrote this post which first appeared in the Puget Sound Business Journal. An alarming childcare crisis is impacting every community across our state. And it’s getting worse for families, childcare providers, and businesses... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post first appeared at on November 13, 2018. I was a member of the Seattle City Council when the U.S.Department of Justice (DOJ) began its investigation of our police department. In fact, I urged then-U. S. Attorney for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Seattle Forward
This post first appeared at on February 5, 2019. As a Seattle Public Schools graduate, parent of three daughters who graduated from Garfield High School, and now a proud grandparent, I know strong public schools are a vital foundation... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Seattle Forward
A strong democracy requires high-quality early learning. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Seattle Forward
Daniel Gilbert and the Times did some solid reporting on how city government formerly managed its employee pension funds. However, here’s the rest of the story. It’s a story of reform, transformation really, that has occurred over the past five... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2018 at Seattle Forward
We are at the end of the first quarter of 2018 and our state and country have done almost nothing to curb gun violence. Following the terrible and shocking tragedy of Sandy Hook way back in December 2012 when young... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at Seattle Forward
(This post first appeared today at We are failing to prepare all of our children for a successful life, a reality that creates injustice and social inequity, harms our long-term economic prospects, and costs all of us a lot... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Seattle Forward