|59th Mayor of Charlotte|
Assumed office |
December 4, 2017
|Preceded by||Jennifer Roberts|
|Member of the Charlotte City Council|
2013 – December 4, 2017
|Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Charlotte|
December 2015 – December 2017
|Preceded by||Michael Barnes|
|Succeeded by||Julie Eiselt|
September 28, 1952
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
(m. 1996; d. 2013)
Viola Alexander Lyles (born September 28, 1952) is an American politician serving as the 59th and current mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Lyles was a member of the Charlotte City Council before taking office as mayor.
Early life and education
Lyles was raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Her father owned his own construction company and her mother worked as a teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Queens University of Charlotte and a Master of Public Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lyles worked for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, as a budget analyst, budget director, and assistant city manager. Starting in 2004, she worked as a consulting director for the Lee Institute and then for Flynn Heath Holt Leadership. She was the community outreach director for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Lyles was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2013, and was elected mayor pro-tem in 2015. Following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in September 2016, she proposed a seven-point plan to reduce racial and class divisions in the city, parts of which were approved by the council.
Lyles ran for mayor of Charlotte in the 2017 election. She defeated Jennifer Roberts, the incumbent mayor, in the Democratic Party primary election in September 2017 and defeated Kenny Smith, a Republican member of the city council, in the November general election. She is the first African-American female mayor of the city, and also its first former city administrator to serve as mayor.
Lyles was married to John Lyles for 17 years prior to his death in 2013. Lyles has two children, Kwame and Aisha Alexander, as well as two stepchildren, Sean and John Lyles, Jr. She lives in the SouthPark neighborhood in Charlotte.
- Jim Morrill (October 13, 2017). "They often agree, so what makes Democrat Vi Lyles different from Mayor Roberts?". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Jim Morrill; Katherine Peralta; Ely Portillo (November 7, 2017). "Democrat Vi Lyles makes history in Charlotte mayoral win". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- "What's the background of Charlotte mayoral candidates Lyles and Smith?". The Charlotte Observer. September 12, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Jonathan McFadden (October 24, 2015). "Vi Lyles aims to fulfill promises". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Skip Foreman (November 8, 2017). "Democrat Lyles elected as Charlotte's first female African American mayor". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Greg Lacour (November 29, 2016). "Vi Lyles Goes All In". Charlotte Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- "Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts concedes". The Charlotte Observer. September 13, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- "In Memory of John Lyles 1944-2013 | Vi Alexander Lyles". Vi Alexander Lyles for City Council. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "LYLES, JOHN". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Charlotte city council at-large: Vi Lyles on the issues". The Charlotte Observer. September 2, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017.