CHICAGO – Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that he’s preparing to run for mayor of Chicago, a position widely known as being one he has long desired.

Emanuel made the announcement in a video posted Sunday on his website, ChicagoforRahm.com. He had been careful not to launch his candidacy from Washington and headed to Chicago immediately after his resignation was announced Friday by President Obama.

In the video, Emanuel said he’s embarking on a “Tell It Like It Is” listening tour of Chicago.

“As I prepare to run for mayor, I’m going to spend the next few weeks visiting our neighborhoods — at grocery stores, L stops, bowling alleys, and hot dog stands,” Emanuel said.

The two-minute video shows a relaxed Emanuel sitting behind a desk wearing a white shirt that’s open at the collar and a dark jacket. Behind him is a photo of his family and several books.

In making the announcement in a YouTube video, Emanuel appears to be following in the online footsteps of Obama, who was successful in galvanizing support among younger voters with a strong Internet presence and near-constant contact through text messages, e-mails and Facebook notes.

Emanuel’s website offers several options for receiving updates, including e-mail and text, and nearly 12,000 Facebook users had “liked” his page by Sunday afternoon.

Lori Goldberg, an Emanuel spokeswoman, said the online video was an attempt to reach as many people as possible. Emanuel plans to make “a more formal announcement” after the November election.

One challenge facing Emanuel in a mayoral run is reconnecting with Chicago voters after his time in Washington. Emanuel highlighted his ties to Chicago in the video Sunday, noting his three terms representing a North Side district in Congress before serving as Obama’s chief of staff.

Mayor Richard M. Daley announced last month he will not seek a seventh term. Emanuel joins a crowded field of Democrats who have announced they’re running for Chicago mayor or hinted at it. Among them are Chicago School Board president Gery Chico, Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and state Sen. James Meeks.