EVERETT, Wash. - The City of Everett’s Mayor’s Office released the results of a community outreach project conducted earlier this year, identifying challenges, opportunities and priorities for the future of the city.
“It has always been very important to me to engage our community. The perspectives of our residents, businesses, nonprofits and others, are so valuable to hear as we set our future priorities and focus.” said Mayor Cassie Franklin.
Respondents were asked to share the biggest issues and opportunities for the City to address. Residents, business owners and nonprofits shared the importance of addressing homelessness and public safety, affordable housing, economic development, parks, arts and other amenities, as well as pedestrian safety, walkability and bike-ability.
“These conversations reinforced a shared vision of a strong city with ever-growing potential while maintaining its charm and small-town feel,” said consultant Jennifer Gregerson of Gregerson Consulting. “Residents, nonprofit leaders and business owners believe in Everett, love many of the changes that are occurring, and hope for continued improvements to their quality of life.”
Housing issues were at the forefront of nearly two thirds of participants, from market rate housing issues to homelessness. Everett’s economy and quality of life were also top of mind as residents considered Everett’s various business and shopping areas throughout the city.
Interviewees with concerns about public safety generally felt positively about the Everett Police Department but had concerns about the resources available to address crimes that affect residents’ lives the most.
Mayor Franklin and City staff will use the information gathered to advance new initiatives building on past work to address ongoing public safety and homelessness challenges, housing for all, economic development strategies with a particular focus on continuous improvements to permit services and pedestrian safety, to name a few.
“It’s clear that many of our existing plans and priorities around these key issues are in alignment with our residents. I look forward to refining our plans and work moving forward, in partnership with the City Council,” said Franklin.
Franklin was recently re-elected to her second term and this initiative pairs with the transition initiatives she engaged in at the start of her first term in 2018. The 2018 transition team report focused on economic development, public safety and civic engagement, and led to several mayoral directives to guide the City’s work. This outreach will provide similar guidance for City operations and future priorities.
More information about the survey, including the full report, is available at everettwa.gov/mayorsoutreach.