Nearly 400 city officials (and counting) want more action on fentanyl

May 10, 2023

The deadline to join the letter has been extended. Email before May 24 to add your name to the letter

Nearly 400 city officials have signed on to a letter urging Assembly leaders to include cities in an informational hearing on the fentanyl crisis. The letter also calls on lawmakers to take further action to protect communities from the fentanyl crisis. City officials can join the letter until May 24. 

The Assembly Public Safety Committee held a special hearing on six fentanyl-related measures in late April. The League of California Cities and other groups concerned with the alarming increase in fentanyl-related deaths pressured lawmakers to hold the special hearing.

Fentanyl overdoses now kill nearly 6,000 people in California every year.

The rising death toll from fentanyl poisonings is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted and collaborative approach. Cal Cities supports additional state funding and resources to address the substance use crisis through appropriate prevention and intervention efforts, educational campaigns, increased access to life-saving overdose treatments, as well as greater accountability for illicit fentanyl dealers.

Three Cal Cities-supported bills passed out of the special hearing. Collectively, the measures would increase accountability for dealers and improve collaboration between state and local law enforcement. However, much more can be done in this legislative cycle to ensure the state adequately responds to this crisis.

In the past few weeks, Assembly lawmakers traded partisan barbs over possible solutions, with some favoring stronger sentencing for fentanyl dealers and others supporting community investments that drive down the demand for drugs. In response, the Assembly Health and Public Safety committees, as well as members from the Select Committee on Fentanyl, Opioid Addiction, and Overdose Prevention, agreed to hold an informational hearing on May 24 about other possible interventions.

To add your name to the letter urging Assembly leaders to take further action and include cities in the informational hearing, email Legislative Affairs Lobbyist Elisa Arcidiacono before May 24.

For more information, contact your regional public affairs manager

This article has been updated to reflect the new deadline for signatures. The previous deadline was March 12.