Mayor Vi Lyles made history in December 2017 when she took office in Charlotte, N.C. as the city’s first Black woman mayor. With her balanced leadership style, Mayor Lyles has been a breath of fresh air and inspiration to many in the Queen City.
Born Viola Alexander on September 28, she was raised in Columbia, S.C. by her father, a construction company owner, and her mother, who worked as a schoolteacher. She earned her political science bachelor’s degree from Queens University of Charlotte, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina.
Prior to her mayoral duties, Lyles served on the Charlotte City Council from 2013 until being elected mayor pro tem in 2015. She defeated incumbent Mayor Jennifer Roberts in the 2017 primaries, and vanquished her Republican opponent Kenny Smith, a city council member, in the general election. Along with being Charlotte’s first Black woman mayor, she is also the first mayor to serve in the role after previously being a city administrator.
Lyles, a mother of two, was married to John Lyles Sr. from 1996 until his death in 2013.
Mayor Lyles has drawn praise from Republicans in her state by way of her willingness to reach across the aisle for the better of Charlotte overall. This balanced perception of her leadership style has endeared her to all in the city and beyond.
PHOTO: Vi Lyles Promotional
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