Darrell Watson epitomizes hard work. The youngest of seven siblings with a single mother, he grew up in the projects on the island of St. Thomas. His mother worked at a nursing home during the day and went to school at night to help put food on the table. Growing up in a working poor family, he experienced the impact of hunger and felt the emotional impact that housing instability had on his family. Too often, his mother had to decide between keeping the lights on, buying groceries, or paying rent. She taught Darrell the importance of hard work, service to one’s community, and never giving up on your dreams, the values that motivated Darrell to get his first job at age 13 and become a first generation graduate from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Darrell has lived in Denver for 30 years. After a successful career protecting the financial health of educators and non-profits, Darrell and Mike (his husband of 17 years) started their own small business. Together, they elevate inclusion and equity within our city’s most important social institutions and support the work of those in public service and non-profits.
In dedicating his time and energy over the past two decades to public service, Darrell has tackled some of the biggest issues facing the city. As chair of the Housing Stability Strategic Advisors, he co-creates policy that confronts public policies that have caused the surge in houseless residents and exacerbates our housing crisis. As Co-Chair of the Denver Game Plan for a Healthy City, he led a process to develop strategies to increase parks and open space throughout the city. As the Co-Chair of the Denver Biased Policing Task Force, he worked alongside community members and Denver police officers to introduce innovative training to reduce the occurrence of biased policing throughout the city.