Education: University of Florida, BS in Mechanical Engineering; UNC Charlotte, MS in Engineering Management, Infrastructure & Environmental Systems (Economic Mobility Policy Optimization), PhD in Infrastructure, and a graduate certificate in Public Policy Research and Analysis.
Professional Experience: Council Member Watlington is a licensed professional engineer and certified project management professional. She has held several roles in engineering, initiative management, and operations management in the consumer product goods industry.
Civic Engagement: She has served the community with various professional and service organizations, including the City’s Civil Service Board, United Way Young Leaders Council, National Society of Black Engineers, Elevation Outreach and the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition Board. She has also served on the city’s Business Advisory Committee and the United Way Central Carolinas Young Leaders Council. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Incorporated.
Key Achievements: Councilmember Watlington drafted Charlotte's Re-Imagining Policing Framework to ensure our policing reflects our community values and that our officers are equipped with what they need to deliver high-quality service. In addition, as part of the Safe Charlotte Plan, she continues to push for violent crime prevention strategies that address systemic causes, including working with public and private partners to seize high-crime properties. She also championed the first-ever $38.5 Corridors of Opportunity initiative kicking things off on the West Blvd in a big way. She ran for city council to invest in the community, having helped author the West Blvd Corridor Playbook while serving as a West Blvd Neighborhood Coalition board member. Councilmember Watlington championed infrastructure investment across the city to secure $14 million in congestion mitigation funds, $5 million of which was set aside specifically for Steele Creek. She successfully advocated to remove the petition process for traffic calming devices in our neighborhoods, ensuring equity in street improvements across the city. She has advocated for investment in the West Side Community Land Trust, securing more than $3 million to date in city investment to preserve neighborhood affordability.
Council Committee Assignments: Transportation, Planning and Development; Housing, Safety and Community
Platform and Goals: Her key priorities include workforce and business development, economic mobility, responsible growth and infrastructure, and community engagement.
Awards and Recognitions: Council member Watlington was named a 2017 Charlotte Chamber YP, Pride Magazine’s 2018 Outstanding Millennial, and is an Elevate Lifestyle 30 Under 30 award winner. She was recognized as the 2019 UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumna, one of Mecklenburg Times’ 2019 50 Most Influential Women, and one of the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 under 40. She is a 2024 Honoree of the University of Florida's 40 Under 40.