EVERETT, Wash. — Two controversial community safety ordinances were passed by the Everett City Council Wednesday night.
Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin now has the authority to expand a “no sit, no lie” law city-wide.
The change basically prohibits people from sitting or lying down near facilities that provide substance abuse, behavioral health, and temporary housing services. The mayor can designate a two-block radius around the facilities.
The city first passed the law in 2021, and the punishment for the violation will remain the same. A person can be charged with a misdemeanor, and if convicted, spend up to 90 days in jail, have to pay a $500 fine, or both.
During Wednesday night’s meeting, city council members heard from a resident who has lived in Everett for ten years.
Jose Villalaz said he’s in favor of providing help and services to those who need it, but something needs to be done to protect residents.
“What I’m starting to see is that for a lot of homeless people that are gathering in our neighborhood, they are bringing drugs, trash, they’re littering, (and) they’re not respecting the neighbors who live in the neighborhood,” said Villalaz.
The mayor believes that the updated ordinance will ensure safe access to the facilities and help mitigate the negative impact that happens around them.
The city council also voted to ban the use of controlled substances in public spaces across the city.
The ordinance specifically states what controlled substances people are not allowed to use in public. Listed are heroin, methamphetamine, fentanyl and Xanax.
People who break the law will be charged with a misdemeanor.
The new public drug use ordinance comes as lawmakers have not yet passed a statewide law on drug possession. Gov. Jay Inslee has called for a special session of the legislature that starts on May 16 to deal with the issue.
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