The Junior League of Charlotte, Inc. (JLC) is made up of women who come from various backgrounds, careers and life experiences. Often, JLC members use their leadership and training skills to serve others, which is the case for JLC Sustainer Vi Lyles. Lyles was officially sworn in as mayor of Charlotte Monday night in front of a packed house in Charlotte City Council chambers. The moment also goes down in history, as Mayor Lyles is the first African-American female mayor of Charlotte. She acknowledged that in her speech following her swearing-in but says she wants to be remembered for more than that. “I want to be known as the best mayor to create opportunities for all of us. All of us,” she said to the crowd which was followed by applause.
Previously, Lyles was an at-large representative on Charlotte City Council. She was elected in 2013 and re-elected two years later, where she was chosen to serve as mayor pro-tem. Lyles also worked for the City of Charlotte for almost 30 years. In 2015, Mayor Lyles was among several JLC members recognized as the Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women. In February, she formally announced her intention to run for mayor of Charlotte and beat incumbent Mayor Jennifer Roberts in the September primary. Last month, Lyles received 59% of the vote in the general election beating her Republican opponent Kenny Smith. She begins her first full day officially as mayor of Charlotte today.
“The JLC trains community leaders, and perhaps that is most visible right now in the mayor’s office,” says Junior League of Charlotte President Arina Kirk. “We are proud that one of our Sustaining members is serving our beloved Charlotte in such a major way!”
By Christine Sperow