Seattle City Councilmember Lewis hails collaborative plan to ramp up treatment investments, address public drug use 

Seattle City Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia) hailed a comprehensive proposal, announced by Mayor Harrell’s office today, to expand drug treatment and address public drug use. The proposal is the result of the deliberations of Mayor Harrell’s fentanyl task force, of which Councilmember Lewis is a serving member.   

The new legislative package, which Councilmember Lewis intends to co-sponsor, includes: 

  • $7 million in new capital investments this year focused on leading with drug treatment,  
  • $20 million to increase treatment and overdose response services, 
  • adoption of the State Legislature’s new drug possession law into the Seattle Municipal Code, and  
  • an executive order from Mayor Harrell providing guidance to police officers on how to apply the new law, designating diversion and treatment as the preferred approach to addressing substance use issues but retaining the ability to make arrests when necessary. 

The proposal is the result of the collaborative work of Seattle’s elected leadership, public health experts, advocates, and law enforcement.  

“Since the Legislature adopted its law, my goal has been for Seattle to implement the Blake fix in an effective manner that responds to the two crises fentanyl has imposed on our city: a crisis of public health and a crisis of public safety,” said Councilmember Lewis.  

“This legislative package responds to both of these crises by giving our first responders a variety of tools to best respond to each individual’s needs. Fentanyl is killing our neighbors and it is making people feel unsafe in their city. As leaders we have a duty to do the hard work of proposing laws that can make a meaningful impact and pairing them with the resources necessary to make a difference. I am proud to have worked with Mayor Harrell, the City Attorney’s Office, and community experts to offer the people of Seattle real solutions to these devastating crises.”