A drug epidemic, a looming budget deficit, and a rise in gang violence are just a few of the problems facing Everett's new mayor Cassie Franklin.
"We have the challenge of the opioid epidemic and homelessness and drug addiction in our streets, and we are seeing this in cities large and small across the country," said Franklin.
Franklin is leaving Everett City Council Seat 4 to take over as mayor. In November, voters made her the first elected female mayor of Everett.
The new leader is already taking a stand, saying no to the "tweakerville" label some have placed on Everett because of struggles with drug addiction, visible in certain areas of the city.
"I think that does no one any good, and it is not in the best interest of our city. That name does not reflect Everett. Everett is a beautiful, vibrant place," said Franklin.
She acknowledges the hurdles ahead.
"One of the bigger challenges I would like to focus on right off the bat is the gang and gun violence we have seen recently," Franklin said.
She says her past has helped her prepare. She's the CEO of Cocoon House, a nonprofit that serves homeless and at-risk youth.
"In my work at Cocoon House I dealt with things like homelessness, gangs, youth violence, drug addiction," said Franklin.
Franklin was sworn in at the beginning of the city council meeting Wednesday night.
Mayor Franklin says she has a 57-member transition advisory team, helping her identify short and long-term priorities for the city. She says she has already been working on an executive order, which she plans to unveil next week.