Verelyn Gibbs Watson, State Delegate Candidate who will Advocate for Small Business in LD 39
As a small business owner who has not previously sought public office, Verelyn Gibbs Watson is quick to explain that the primary reason for her candidacy in 2018 is to inspire other small business owners to have a larger voice in the legislative process. “I constantly feel the burden of legislative decisions enacted without full understanding of the ultimate impact on the small business community. We need to change that,” said Watson, adding that “rather than sit on the sidelines complaining, I decided to get in the game.”
While she has many political heroes, Watson considers Gov. Larry Hogan as her political role model, saying she is impressed with his work ethic and how well he represents all of Maryland, regardless of personal party affiliation. (On a more personal level, she admires that during his battle with cancer he did not miss a beat when it came to serving the great state of Maryland. Truly inspirational.)
Watson believes that the three most important issues facing Maryland are the following:
(1) The lack of support for small business. (2) The heroin and opioid crisis. (3) Infrastructure challenges – specifically as it relates to traffic and transportation.
Her position on taxes and spending are as follows: Lower taxes. Lower spending in general, but base spending priorities on what offers greatest returns.
As far as education is concerned, Watson believes it is the most important resource in our state and our society. “I am especially passionate about early literacy programs and doing everything possible to close the achievement gap to make sure every child has the chance to succeed.”
Verelyn Gibbs Watson was born in Georgetown, Guyana, immigrated to the United States with her family as a child, grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn Tech - a specialized high school for students passionate about arts, science and engineering. She later earned her BS in Marketing from Morgan State and obtained her MBA from Pace University, while working full time for a fortune 100 financial services firm in New York City.
Watson is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery (Core Program), Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Executive Education (Leadership Decision Making) and has also earned certifications from the American Society of Association Executives (non profit Management).
Verelyn Gibbs Watson is also passionate about public service and giving back. She has served on the board of HIPPY USA (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) an early literacy home visiting program that helps close the achievement gap by empowering parents to become their child's first teachers; currently holding a vice-chair position. Verelyn also supports numerous non-profit and charitable organizations through direct and business-related donations.
Verelyn, her husband Sean and their daughter Channing make their home in the 39th district of Maryland; along with their dogs, Barron, Bentley and their latest addition, a pug named Peppa.