In Majority Vote, Everett City Council Passes No Sit- No Lie Ordinance

March 17, 2021

Everett Government

The law will not go into effect until the pilot shelter project is up and running. Likely in June of this year.

In a vote of 5 – 1 the Everett City Council has passed the No Sit-No Lie ordinance that has been under discussion over the past three weeks.

Voting Yes: Bader, Roberts, Murphy, Tuohy, Stonecipher. Voting No: Vogeli. Not present: Moore.

The ordinance prohibits people from sitting or lying on sidewalks in a specific part of Everett, Washington near the 3600 block of Smith Street. It also prohibits passing out goods or providing services in that same area without a city issued permit. Here is a complete copy of the ordinance. It is a companion to a pilot pallet shelter project to provide shelter for
people experiencing homelessness in that area.

While more people during the public comment portion of the city council meeting spoke in favor of the ordinance than at past meetings the majority of folks commenting spoke against it.

During deliberations some paraphrased remarks by council members included:

Scott Bader: My hope is that people living under the Smith Street overpass will move into the pallet shelters and I think this is an way to balance the needs of all the people in that area.

Paul Roberts: I have real reservations but the Everett Gospel Mission feels this will help the unsafe conditions and as this is a pilot to be evaluated I will support it.

Liz Vogeli: I am sensing it it actually unsafe in that neighborhood. We need to take immediate action. Can we fine the business owners who are not cleaning up in that area and use those funds to help people?

Scott Murphy: We have done many things over the past few years including Cocoon House, Housing Hope and Claire’s Place. The problem has gotten worse and we need a creative and aggressive approach.

Judy Tuohy: This will not alleviate the problem but will help. We still do not have enough resources. We need to move to address homelessness while mitigating harm to businesses. Want to see a review of current resources.

Brenda Stonecipher: There is a group of people preying on those living in that area. I agree with the balanced approach and this is a pilot project that will be evaluated.

Mayor Franklin: We all agree we need more support for our unhoused. We have a rare opportunity to use State funds, City property and an established and respected partner for this pilot project. If it is successful it is scalable and can be replicated.

There likely will be a legal challenge and the City received a letter from the ACLU qustioning the legality. David Hall, the Everett City Attorney said the ordinance had been crafted in a way that addressed constitutionality and believes it will withstand a court challenge. Though he conceded you never know for sure.

You can hear all of the comments of the councilmembers on the City’s website. The comments are usually up within 24 hours after the meeting.


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