EVERETT - After a whirlwind campaign, Cassie Franklin won the race for mayor of Everett by just 196 votes.
Now, she is about to experience the power of overseeing nearly 1,200 city employees while at the same time battling some of the toughest problems Everett has ever faced.
“My main focus is public safety especially the gang violence, we are seeing a real uptick and it's frightening, the age of the kids we are seeing,” Franklin said.
One of the cases involves a 13-year-old boy, associated with a gang, who shot and killed 14-year-old David Sandoval.
“Something has gone wrong with our system when a child has a gun we really have to do something,” Franklin said.
She also says she understands that many people are fed up with property crime.
“I want to tackle that challenge. I think it's not OK for their garage to be broken into, their kid’s bike to be stolen. We need to get in front of that,” Franklin said.
Franklin isn't ready to talk specific policies yet. Instead, her focus is to listen and learn from her 57 member transition team.
A diverse group of people Franklin handpicked including experts in homelessness.
“I would like to see more housing I would like to see getting people off the streets quickly,” Franklin said.
But she says the city can’t do it alone. She is praising non-profits like The Hand Up Project, a group of recovering addicts who are reaching out and helping homeless people, many who are addicted to drugs themselves.
“I find the group inspiring because they help addicts and they get them immediately to work,” Franklin said.
Franklin says the city needs a lot more treatment options for people addicted to prescription pills and heroin. But funding is always the challenge.
The hope is for the state's capital budget to pass early next year releasing $17 million for drug and mental health treatment for the North Sound.
“Going to be key to getting ahead of this incredible challenge,” Franklin said.
Q13 News also asked Franklin about her thoughts on safe injection sites.
Several cities in Snohomish County have banned safe injection facilities. Franklin says she is not in favor of them right now, especially with the lack of treatment for addicts.
Franklin will be sworn in January 3.