Vi Lyles

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Vi Lyles
Vi Lyles 2019.jpg
59th Mayor of Charlotte
Assumed office
December 4, 2017
Preceded byJennifer Roberts
Mayor pro tempore of Charlotte
In office
December 2015 – December 4, 2017
Preceded byMichael Barnes
Succeeded byJulie Eiselt
Personal details
Viola Alexander

(1952-09-28) September 28, 1952 (age 68)
Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
John Lyles
(m. 1996; died 2013)
EducationQueens University (BA)
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (MPA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Viola Alexander Lyles (born September 28, 1952[1]) is an American politician serving as the 59th 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[edit]

Lyles was raised in Columbia, South Carolina.[2] Her father owned his own construction company and her mother worked as a teacher.[3] 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.[4]


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.[2] She was the community outreach director for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.[3]

Lyles was elected to the Charlotte City Council in 2013,[5] and was elected mayor pro-tem in 2015.[6] 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.[7]

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[8] 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,[6] and also its first former city administrator to serve as mayor.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Lyles was married to John Lyles for 17 years prior to his death in 2013.[9] Lyles has two children, Kwame and Aisha Alexander, as well as two stepchildren, Sean and John Lyles Jr.[10] She lives in the SouthPark neighborhood in Charlotte.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ a b c 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.
  4. ^ "What's the background of Charlotte mayoral candidates Lyles and Smith?". The Charlotte Observer. September 12, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Jonathan McFadden (October 24, 2015). "Vi Lyles aims to fulfill promises". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Skip Foreman (November 8, 2017). "Democrat Lyles elected as Charlotte's first female African American mayor". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Greg Lacour (November 29, 2016). "Vi Lyles Goes All In". Charlotte Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts concedes". The Charlotte Observer. September 13, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "In Memory of John Lyles 1944–2013 | Vi Alexander Lyles". Vi Alexander Lyles for City Council. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "LYLES, JOHN". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "Charlotte city council at-large: Vi Lyles on the issues". The Charlotte Observer. September 2, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jennifer Roberts
Mayor of Charlotte