by Mayor Sofia Aragon
I am Sofia Aragon, and I’m running for King County Council District 8. After the Seattle City Council’s vote on public drug use prohibition last night, I have prepared a statement:
For Immediate Release
While Overdose Deaths Surge, Mosqueda Again Votes “No” on Public Drug Use Prohibition
All but one member of the Public Safety Committee of the Seattle City Council voted yes to adopt the new statewide law providing an option to prosecute for open drug use and provide $27 million to the City of Seattle for recovery and treatment. For the second time, Councilmember Theresa Mosqueda voted “No.” She continues to ignore the record levels of drug overdose deaths in King County due to the opioid epidemic and the availability of cheap and deadly fentanyl.
Mosqueda even asserted that clouds of fentanyl smoke inhaled by pedestrians and transit passengers are harmless.
I support the legislature’s bipartisan law that provides treatment and recovery resources to help those battling addiction. Their approach moves the state forward because the solution doesn’t stop at incarceration. There is recognition that those who commit crimes driven by drug-seeking behavior can be urged toward treatment to improve their lives and help reduce the public health and safety crisis on the streets.
The public health crisis of opioid addiction and overdose is killing our residents in their youth, robbing them of the prime years of their lives. In 2022, accidental overdose was the number one cause of death for people under 40 in Washington State. Between 2013 and 2022, overdose deaths among youth ages 5-19 years old increased 5 fold and mirrors a sharp increase in overdose deaths in King County during this time period.
King County is on pace to surpass the record level of drug overdose deaths set in 2022. So far, in 2023, there have been 744 deaths from fentanyl overdose, more than the 713 overdose deaths in the county for all of 2022. 235 of these confirmed of suspected fatal overdoses in Seattle have occurred since the last vote on public drug use prohibition in June.
The Seattle City Council’s job is to protect and enhance the health and safety of its residents. In the face of a public health and public safety crisis, Councilmember Mosqueda continues to oppose statewide laws created by legislators across the political spectrum – laws that every other city in Washington state has adopted. It’s alarming that she continues to put ideology before public health and public safety.
Seattle is home to the majority of residents in King County. If Mosqueda’s policies are causing this kind of harm and disorder in the City of Seattle, we can’t trust her to have the best interests of the county in mind.
For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:
Mayor Sofia Aragon