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EPOA President James Collier's account found on Twitter
Plus: EPOA and Everett cops found contributing to Mayor Cassie's campaign affter she secured the approval of a grant giving them millions of dollars in funding.
Hello everyone! After a long delay, I am finally back on my bullshit.
The past few weeks have been busy personally, but that time was also spent dedicated to preparing for Jason Call’s upcoming campaign for our congressional district. As some of you may know, I spent a long time compiling the receipts of incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen for Call’s 2020 primary campaign. I’m excited at continuing the endeavor of unseating a corporate Democrat and electing someone who supports of Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and cancelling student debt.
Since the last time, much has happened. Here are some highlights:
The 2021 budget is actively being deliberated.
“Code Enforcement” will be separated from EPD and made its own department. Staffed entirely by cops, they will be responsible for “complex problems related to health, safety, and blight, creating more livable neighborhoods”. What does that mean, you wonder? Well, we only need to look back several months to when EPD’s code enforcement unit swept a camp located on private land.
The camp’s residents had already previously been booted from another location, and with no place else to go, were given refuge on a plot of private land. After receiving complaints from neighboring business owners, EPD disbursed the camp under threat of arrest in blatant defiance of CDC guidelines for the pandemic. Code enforcement cops said the sweep had to occur due to “health and safety” concerns.
Considering how this new department is described in the budget, we can expect them to be increasingly responsible for the Franklin administration’s sweeps in her second term.
There is a new “special allocation fund” of $125,000 for the cops. This is on top of the millions of dollars EPD has received in grants from the Trump administration this year—while other city agencies saw deep, deep cuts.
Money is rapidly shifting towards patrol in the Everett Police Department. In the 2021 budget, the Franklin administration is moving an additional $1.5 million to patrol units. That means more money for more cops on the street.
Snohomish County Democratic Socialists of America’s Decarceral Committee released a plan for how we can defund Everett Police Department in Roadmap to Reallocation. They detail precisely how the city can radically reform its police department towards community assistance and away from incarceration through major structural changes.
Everett’s cops are going to get body cams.
In a long anticipated move, all of EPD’s cops will be equipped with body cameras. In a $1.3 million, 5-year contract to Axon Enterprises, formerly TASER International—yes that taser—the city will purchase body cameras, training, maintenance equipment, and data storage.
I will be very curious to see how this will lead to more revelations about excessive use of force by EPD. Let’s recall that in May, when Everett cops knelled on the neck of a Black man who exclaimed “I can’t breathe,” it was a moment that was captured by one of only ten body cameras in use by the department. Among over a hundred cops.
With this equipment expanded to all the other cops, what more will the public discover about their conduct?
Mayor Cassie found to have received donations from EPOA and Everett cops following pressuring the city council to accept grant money.
Periodically I like to check on PDC filings with campaign committees to see where their money is coming from. Individual donors or patterns of contributions can reveal a politician’s connections, which makes the PDC’s Open Data page a valuable source for information. When I went to take a peek at Mayor Cassie Franklin’s re-election campaign, I was surprised at what I found:
In September, her campaign received nine contributions from Everett cops totaling $1,900. Most of this money came on a single day: September 5th. On October 1st, the Everett Police Officers Association gave $1,000.
This was only three days after the Everett City Council, under pressure from cop-supporters and Franklin’s administration, reversed their original decision and approved a federal grant giving EPD millions of dollars to hire more cops. It would appear that following this successful effort by Mayor Franklin and Chief of Police Templeman, Everett cops rewarded the mayor by contributing thousands of dollars to her re-election campaign.
This was in conjunction with praise that the EPOA was giving Mayor Cassie for getting the grant passed, boosting her public reputation as being an ally to police—and perhaps demobilizing a potential political foe for her re-election campaign.
EPOA President James Collier’s Twitter account was discovered.
Having long closely watched the activities of the EPOA on Twitter, one particular user followed by the account have long piqued my interest: @JTC2014. This account has since been deleted, but through some screenshots we can easily deduce that it belongs to none other than EPOA President James Collier.
Posts were found to contain his first name spoken by a friend and a T-Mobile customer service representative. In another, Collier replies to a post from his daughter exclaiming that she was a “TRUE Collier!”. This isn’t coincidence. This isn’t the work of some hacker. This is very clearly an account that belongs to James Collier.
At the same time Collier and the EPOA were demanding the resignation of Megan Dunn over sharing a cross-stitch project (that wasn’t her’s), he was raging on Twitter against libs. On September 5th, when he gave Mayor Cassie's reelection campaign $200, Collier said that he would consider it legal for a driver to strike and kill a protester... for simply being in the street.
During a Black Lives Matter protest in Everett on September 4th, the driver of an SUV drove straight into protestors at the intersection of Hewett and Broadway. While the driver was not arrested, two protestors were. Cops were making excuses for the driver while on the scene, and I wonder if one of them might have been Collier himself. Considering his conversation with me the following day, I’m confident he was one of them.
Weeks later, Collier went on the Jason Rantz Show to talk about how protests were becoming “being a little more confrontational”. He complained that protestors “surrounded a police car” and began kicking it, theorizing that there must be a “creep effect” from Seattle.
So, where are the calls for Collier’s resignation?
Well, Mayor Cassie announced that the EPD will be completing an internal investigation into the matter. I don’t think there will be any consequence from the union. No, this is precisely the ideology the rank and file of the EPD follow and there’s scant evidence to the contrary.
Mayor Cassie launches three new “housing initiatives”.
On November 17th, the mayor’s office issued a housing directive aimed at taking advantage of “opportunities at the local level to encourage an increase in housing and shelter for all community members”. While it sounds good, the details reveal that we are going full Seattle Process on this one. This directive contains little immediate changes to the material realities of housing in Everett. Instead, the mayor is directing various things be studied, discussed, and perhaps later get to an action item to (maybe) do.
This is the status quo being positioned as “doing something”. No, this is just continuing what was already in progress, which wasn't much to begin with. I would not be surprised to see this be the beginnings of a housing plank for her re-election campaign.
The directive calls for three different “initiatives”—
Keep working on developing some kind of plan:
• ”Engage stakeholders” through meetings about the Rethink Housing plan;
• Complete making the plan;
• “Monitor” housing production.
Cozy up to housing developers by “expanding offering of incentives, development-friendly housing policies, and placemaking efforts the return on investment”. We'll need to watch closely about what this actually means considering Cassie's neoliberal tendencies.
Address the housing crisis by:
• Forming a new task force for student homelessness;
• Give CARES Act grants for rent assistance;
• Pilot a year-round shelter program built from pallets.
Cynically, I think Mayor Cassie didn't fight hard against the supportive housing restrictions because she wanted to run against them in her re-election campaign. Remember, she filed for re-election just days after taking office in 2018. This was always going to be on her mind when making decisions as mayor.
She would deny that, I'm sure, and instead assure that she actually tried very hard at fighting against the supportive housing bans. Except when you go look at the record, she spoke up basically only once and at the last minute.
Scott Bader is moving to District 5.
PDC filings show that Scott Bader is moving from his current home, located in District 2, to District 5 near Silver Lake. This follows up his previous filing from June that listed “Position TBD” for Everett City Council. The lone Republican on the council must be hoping that Everett’s more tucked-away suburbs will contain the rights kinds of voters who will keep him in office.
Thank you for reading!
As we head into a pivotal election year following an unprecedented crisis, scrutiny of our city’s leadership is more important than ever. If you’re interested in following Everett’s city leadership and politics more closely, please consider subscribing, sharing, and following me on Twitter.