Mayor Creating Task Force As Everett, Washington Has A Safety Crisis Due To Meth & Fentanyl

October 26, 2023

Everett Government

task force

The Task Force has 3 areas of focus:
Education, Assessment, Recommendations

While policy decisions and funding regulations regarding housing, mental health treatment and addressing problems with fentanyl and methamphetamine can come from the Federal and State levels, cities like Everett, Washington are left to deal with the implementation.

“The world has changed so much,” said Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin during a briefing with regarding plans for a new task force to address impacts of fentanyl and methamphetamine on crime, quality of life, housing and more, specifically here in Everett.

“We have the jail, the hospital, services, permanent supportive housing bringing people from across Snohomish County into Everett, and we have a safety crisis we have to address.”

The Task Force will be patterned after the Everett Community Streets Initiative Task Force which was convened in July 2014 by former Mayor Ray Stephanson.

“There were a lot of successes out of the Community Streets Initiative including embedded social workers, medical treatment options like Ideal Options, new shelter and housing programs,” Franklin said. “There was not a fentanyl crisis like we’re seeing today. The chemical makeup of methamphetamine has changed which is causing people to become more violent and out of control and the combination of the two creates problems we’ve never seen. We need to re-examine what works and what does not.”

Franklin mentioned that while there are many types of housing programs now there is a huge difference between shelters, permanent supportive housing, treatment facilities, housing for families with children, etc. and while one method may work well for people being treated for things like alcohol or heroin addiction that same type of program does not have similar success with fentanyl and methamphetamine.

In a follow-up via email, Everett City Spokesperson Simone Tarver sent us this on the Task Force.

Problem statement:
Deadly, illicit drugs like fentanyl, meth and others are causing and contributing to the severity of serious issues facing Everett including street level crime, misuse of our public spaces, graffiti, public drug use, building contamination, gun violence and more. The drug crisis has widespread effects on our public safety, economy and health and continues to disproportionately impact Everett businesses, neighborhoods and residents, as well as our most vulnerable residents and our service providers.

Mission statement:
Through education, collaboration and conversation, the task force will seek to understand and build short- and medium-term actions and long-term solutions to combat our local drug crisis and its impacts on community safety.

High-level focus areas:
Education: Helping the community understand the bigger issue
• History of these challenges
• What are the specific realities the City of Everett experiences
• Talk about how the drug crisis has also changed
Assessment: Identifying what resources are currently available and barrier
• What are we currently doing to combat this issue?
• What exists that creates barriers to solutions?
Recommendations: Provide short-, medium- and long-term recommendations on what we can do
• Are there current models or new ideas we should consider for addressing behavioral health-related safety challenges?
• What and where is advocacy needed?

Timeline/ next steps:
Oct. 25
• Announce new task force (news release, social media, webpage, Council)

Late Oct. – Nov. 2023
• Recruitment of task force members
• Task force preparations/ planning

Dec. 2023 or Jan. 2024

Launch task force and hold first convening (tentative)

Jan. – May 2024

Task force meetings

June/ July 2024

Task force recommendations completed (tentative)

Here’s the City’s Press Release issued late Wednesday afternoon outlining the Mayor’s plans for a task force.

Mayor Cassie Franklin announced the creation of a new task force that will focus on the city’s urgent drug crisis, related to fentanyl, meth and other deadly illegal substances, and its impacts on community safety.

“People in our community do not feel safe and nearly all the safety concerns I hear about can be tied to the prevalence of fentanyl and meth in our city,” said Mayor Cassie Franklin. “This crisis is only going to get worse, so it’s imperative that we bring together our brightest minds to help us address these serious safety challenges.”

Because of how far reaching and complex these issues are, Mayor Franklin is working to ensure there is comprehensive representation on the task force, including leading service providers, business leaders, government partners at the city, county and state levels, the faith-based community, community members, those with lived experience, and subject matter experts. She will be extending invitations to join in the coming days.

The task force will start convening this winter and will work over the next several months to develop a full understanding of the challenges and make recommendations on short- and medium-term actions and long-term solutions to combat the local drug crisis and the related community safety issues.

“Our residents, business owners and visitors deserve to feel safe throughout our city; my team and I remain committed to doing everything we can to make that vision our reality and we look forward to seeing what the task force recommends,” said Mayor Franklin.

To stay up to date on the Mayor’s Task Force to Address the Urgent Drug Crisis and Its Impacts on Safety, please follow the City of Everett on social media or sign up for new flashes by visiting

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