Burke got involved in community organizing after spending time living in Mexico and Central America during college. He was the executive director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) for 5 years and more recently worked with the Center for Community Change as a national campaign organizer. Burke is also a long-time member of Resource Generation and in 2010 collaborated with community leaders in Washington DC to start a foundation called the Diverse City Fund. He is currently the boards of Got Green and the Institute for Policy Studies. Burke lives in Seattle with his partner Krista, their son Lucas and daughter Ida.