My name is Cheryll Watson and I love this city.
I’m a born-and-raised Edmontonian, and a proud Northside girl. I grew up in the community of Beverly and I made the choice to stay in Edmonton, to build a family, life and career here. But recently, I’ve come to the realization that as a community we’re at an important and critical inflection point.
A global pandemic has shown us that the way we have been doing things for years, the status quo, is no longer acceptable. And even before the pandemic, it was becoming increasingly clear that we have to adjust how we think about managing our city. The decisions we make and the actions that we take within the next few years will define us for generations. It’s time for a positive viewpoint and forward thinking. We need to do things differently to make our future even better.
In 2021, I intend to run to be the Mayor of Edmonton. To be your Mayor.
I believe that my experiences and my outlook make me the right person to lead us into a positive future. Over the last twenty years, I’ve been building and honing my skills in strategic business transformation, technology, and innovation in both the private and public sectors.
I spent 15 incredible years with Silicon Valley based Intuit, a consistent presence on the Forbes Fortune 500 list. It was an amazing place to work, learn and to create a fulsome career. Intuit develops world class leaders by teaching them best practices for leading at scale: (1) Lead with a clear vision, (2) Build accountable high-performance cultures, and (3) Deliver sustainable results for your stakeholders.
Most recently, I’ve been leading growth in the economic and innovation ecosystems of Edmonton and Alberta. I founded and led Innovate Edmonton with a focus on collaborating to cultivate the talent, innovation and investment needed to build a resilient and job creating economy that is ready for our future. And I continue to serve this community through active leadership and mentorship within some local and global organizations.
I’m not running on a brand-new vision or one specific project. I can also tell you that I’m not running because I want a career in politics. Doing this job for the city that I love will be my singular focus for as long as I’m privileged to serve as Mayor. Nothing else will capture my attention or aspirations. I’m committed to doing it to the best of my ability to ensure our city takes advantage of the opportunities of the future.
While I’m dedicated to engaging and consulting with Edmontonians to understand their needs and wants, I have some core beliefs about our current state that have guided my decision to run:
- We need an agile city organization that places the needs of Edmontonians first.
- We need a better - more equitable—experience for all citizens, no matter who you are or where in the city you live.
- We need the financial stability which comes from collaborative and effective city governance.
- We need to rebuild our relationship with the province and keep partisan politics out of our city's leadership.
- And we need to get creative about solving our greatest challenges, and that means fostering mutually beneficial relationships with private industry and nonprofit agencies.
Collective and sustainable transformation does not happen in isolation. And it cannot be driven by just one person. I need your help. We need to co-create our future.
My ask for you right now is simple.
As we enter the last few months of 2020, I’d like you to begin to have conversations about our city with the people in your life. Think about what really matters to you. About the type of leader that we need in the coming years. Once you’ve done that, help me get into the conversation with you.
Introduce me to your family, friends, your network. Yes, I’ll talk to that eccentric family member you typically avoid until after at least one glass of wine. I also want to talk to that super opinionated co-worker. The one you are happy now to avoid ‘running into’ in the office hallway! I want to hear from everyone who has looked at where we are and has opinions on making the future better.
What I’m asking is that you invite me in. In person, on the phone or over video. I’ll make the time.
I don’t doubt this next election will be full of interesting names and leaders, but consider a few things as you hear some of these people launch their traditional campaigns:
- Do they have the business acumen and experience?
- What motivates them to take on this challenge?
- Will they have the courage and conviction to do what needs to be done?
- Will they be willing to make personal sacrifices to do the right thing?
I love this city and I want to see it grow and prosper for many years to come. I’m here to listen, and then to do my part to lead the way to that positive future. Let’s do it, together!
Yours in partnership,