Denver Direct: Watson Responds

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Watson Responds

ElectWatson said… I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Q. Why aren’t you gay enough? (Please click on link to understand this question.)

A. I was the Co-Chair of Colorado Stonewall Democrats. I served on the National Executive Board of National Stonewall as their Secretary as well as one of their regionally elected board members. The founding convention for NSDF of which I attended (actually at that convention we were called Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation) was in Kansas City in 1999. The organization was named, by-laws approved at that convention, hence the organization was founded in 1999…the call to the convention was a call to the ‘founding convention of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Democratic Federation in Kansas City. The organization was sponsored and formed by Congressman Barney Frank and in 1998. I have strong support in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community. That support is demonstrated by the house parties, fundraisers and the amount of ‘queer’ folks volunteering on my campaign. I am grateful for their support. My partner is one of the most visible persons on my campaign. He did an amazing job as my replacement in the candidate forum at San Rafael.

I’ve never stated nor accepted credit for the Juan Diego project.

The city and county of Denver had only one racial profiling task force. I collaborated with Chief Whitman’s office, city council and community leaders to create what became “The Denver Biased Policing Task Force”. It was renamed Biased Policing Task Force because we added sexual orientation, age, and gender to the list of biased policing activities that were not acceptable. Over a 3 year period, I chaired and facilitated the community meetings, steering committee meetings, we coordinated the outcomes from the small groups and coordinated the communication with the officers in the Chief’s office. There were hundreds of community members that worked hard for 3 years and their dedication is why the task force was successful. Retired Sgt. Mike Anderson, formerly working within Chief Whitman’s office and one of the Chief’s liaisons on the Biased Policing Task Force, is on the steering committee of my campaign and is one of my main advisors on community and police issues.

I’m asking folks in District 8 to vote for me because I am qualified, competent, and will provide innovative leadership. I’ve participated in all but one debate and I haven’t heard any of the other candidates proclaim that they were ‘straight, gay, bisexual or heterosexual’. There are people who believe I’m too gay and others not gay enough. My partner and I have a strong, loving relationship. I’m extremely hopeful about my future, my family and this campaign.

Q. What do you actually do at your day job, and how are you connected to foundations and boards of directors of other organizations?

A. I am a Wealth Management Manager for TIAA-CREF Wealth Management Group. I have 14 employees. TIAA-CREF is an annuity and pension company that serves educators, research and non-profits. We’ve been around for over 85 years.

I am on the Board of Trustees of the Denver Foundation. I was formerly on the Strengthening Neighborhood Program Board of the Denver Foundation.

Q. Serious accusations have flown your way, and people are now accusing you of exaggeration and taking credit for others work. Yet, you refuse to respond. What gives?

A. I’ve been walking and speaking with folks during the last year and ½ about this campaign. I’ve answered each of the questions above and I look forward to answering any others.

Darrell B. Watson, Candidate
Denver City Council District 8

General questions as yet unanswered:
Q. Three of you have experience in neighborhood associations. How many dues paying members did you have then and how many now?

Q. Does it take “fire in the belly” to run for any public office these days given the cost, the media, Internet and press? What, if any, office will you seek after your tenure as Councilperson, and will you promise to fill your term if elected?

Q. Do you think it appropriate for the Denver City Council to issue a position statement on the Iraq War? How would you vote?