Connect, Engage, Influence: How to Participate in Your Local Government

There are many ways to participate and engage with your city government. If you are interested in affecting how laws get made, reaching out to your councilmembers is the best way to influence policymaking, including budget decisions.

Meet Your City Council

  1. Email Please note that any written correspondence with the Council becomes a public record and will get published online in Correspondence to Council.
  2. Attend a meeting and make public comment. If standing in front of a group of people makes you nervous, you can always provide written comment.
  3. Watch City Council and Planning Commission meetings on either Channel 21 (Comcast), Channel 8027 (CenturyLink) or online at
  4. Many councilmembers are open to meeting for coffee or coming to your church group or other organization’s events. You can always send an email to the individual councilmembers to connect.
  5. Council is also advised by advisory boards and commissions made up of residents like you. They research, analyze, and discuss topics such as human services, arts, parks and recreation, land use, economic development, and airport issues. All advisory board meetings are open to the public.

Connect with the City Manager and City Staff

The Burien City Manager can respond to your questions or concerns about the operations of the City of Burien. Burien’s current city manager is Brian J. Wilson. You can contact him at

City staff manage different aspects of the City’s services. If you want to report an issue, such as graffiti or a pothole, you can either call City Hall at (206) 241-4647 or report the issue online at You can also contact departments directly by either calling Burien City Hall or by sending an email to a specific department. You can find department emails at:

Connect with the Burien Police and Fire Departments

From Community Police Academy to Community Emergency Response Team certification, there are many ways to learn more and engage with your local police and fire departments. If you would like your neighborhood to have a more formal relationship with the police department, consider forming a neighborhood block watch or hosting a National Night Out event. Learn more at

Attend a Public Meeting

There are a number of public meetings held throughout the year on specific projects and programs. For example, there were public meetings and workshops held to inform the Burien Urban Center Plan and rental housing policies passed in 2019.

Stay Informed

Keep up to date on news from the City of Burien, including notifications of public meetings and openings on advisory boards. You can also follow us on social media. Reading the Burien Magazine and checking out the website will also help you stay informed. Both the B-Town Blog and Westside Seattle, two local news outlets, cover news about your local government. Don’t believe everything you read on social media. While social media has broadened access to information in a mostly positive way, it has also enabled the rapid spread of misinformation. Check the source of the information you’ve heard, and when in doubt, reach out to City staff to see if a rumor is true. Our communications staff can help answer your questions. Email

Emily Inlow-Hood
Communications & Public Engagement Manager at | More posts
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Cut out photo of former City of Burien city manager Brian Wilson in front of an image of Burien City Hall.
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Message from former City Manager Brian J. Wilson

I want to thank the City Council and the community for giving me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Burien over the last four and a half years. It has been an honor and a privilege to return to my hometown, lead an outstanding staff, and implement policy on behalf of the City Council.