SEATTLE — Bruce Harrell, former member of the Seattle City Council, is running for mayor.
"Look at what Seattle has become," Harrell said Tuesday morning.
He was referring to the homelessness issue that continues throughout the city, businesses closing, property destruction, racial violence and hopelessness at "perhaps unprecedented levels."
As mayor, Harrell said he would allow everyone to participate in addressing the homelessness issue, whether that means helping at a food or clothing giveaway or raising money. That, he said, will help change the city's culture.
He said he wants to create a job center that would include training and empowering people.
"We are going to find the gifts in everybody," he said.
In regards to police accountability, he said he would ask every sworn police officer to watch the video that shows the murder of George Floyd and sign a statement that says "the inhumane treatment of fellow human beings will not be tolerated in Seattle."
"We're going to change the narrative and create a police department that we can all be proud of," he said.
Harrell started his time with the city council in 2008 and served as council president from 2016 until the end of his third term in 2019. He briefly served as mayor following Ed Murray's resignation. He chose not to run for re-election.
“It's time for me to move on,” he said in January 2019. “My goal was not to do 16 years; my goal was to finish a third term.”
His decision not to run came when public opinion polls showed disapproval of the council overall and its direction. That included the head tax debacle of 2018.
According to his council bio, Harrell attended K-12 in Seattle Public Schools, graduated from Garfield High and played football for the University of Washington. He was subsequently elected to the UW Alumni Board of Trustees. Harrell also received the 2007 University of Washington Distinguished Alumni Award in Political Science and 2008 Husky Legend Award.
Harrell joins the growing list of mayoral candidates in Seattle with Mayor Jenny Durkan choosing not to seek re-election. Current Seattle Council President Lorena González officially launched her campaign in February. Colleen Echohawk was one of the first to declare a run for mayor.