February 05, 2018

Alumna Cassie Franklin Takes the Reins of Everett, Washington

On January 1, Cassie Franklin BA ’93 was sworn in as mayor of Everett, Washington, a city of 108,000 residents about 25 minutes north of Seattle. Franklin is the first female mayor to be elected in the city’s 124-year history.
Overall, my time at Lewis & Clark College helped form how I think, how I tackle big challenges, and who I am today.Cassie Franklin BA ’93

On January 1, Cassie Franklin BA ’93 was sworn in as the mayor of Everett, Washington, becoming the city’s first female mayor and the second youngest mayor to serve in the city’s history. A former CEO of a successful nonprofit, Franklin, who also served on the Everett City Council, will combine her business acumen and passion for community leadership in her role as mayor.

Franklin attended Lewis & Clark as a double major in German studies and psychology. After graduating, she earned her master’s degree in psychology at the University of Munich in Germany. Like many Lewis & Clark alumni, she used her international training to pursue nonprofit work. In 2005 she joined Cocoon House, a nonprofit that provides critical services to homeless and at-risk youth and their families in Everett, Washington. She led the agency as its CEO from 2011 to 2017, building it into a nationally recognized organization.

“In my first year overseas in Munich I learned so much more than a language and a culture,” Franklin told Lewis & Clark. “I learned how to listen first (because speaking was more challenging). I learned a little of what it was like to be an outsider, a foreigner. Due to the language barrier in graduate school I also learned that good enough – sometimes just passing the exam – would be alright, too. It helped me focus on what was most important to learn and retain. Overall, my time at Lewis & Clark College helped form how I think, how I tackle big challenges, and who I am today.”

Franklin’s record of public service is extensive: in addition to her nonprofit work, she was elected to the Everett City Council in 2015 and served as the council’s vice president in 2017. She was an active volunteer, serving with community organizations like the Community Streets Initiative and the Homeless Policy Task Force, and was president of the Rotary Club of South Everett-Mukilteo until 2017.

Franklin’s background in nonprofit work has led her to prioritize community engagement, local business growth, and public safety during her first weeks as mayor. Her recent State of the City address reiterated her commitment to an open, transparent government, emphasizing the importance of communication in building an economically successful community.

“I believe that leaders are most effective when they have a deep, personal connection to the people and places they serve, and I couldn’t be prouder to be Everett’s mayor,” Franklin said in her address. “Everett is full of creative, compassionate people who recognize its strengths and potential, and want to be a part of its successes. And that’s why I’m so eager to help move Everett forward.”

German Studies Program

Psychology Department

This story was written by Emily Price ’18.