Vi Lyles cites experience with city, council in bid to retain Charlotte City Council at-large seat

Vi Lyles
Vi Lyles jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

In her two years as a City Council member, Vi Lyles said she worked to build consensus between groups

“You have to build relationships among community and council members,” Lyles said. “We have to find we can get to a place where we feel like we can all move forward. I did that on budget, and on the city manager’s evaluation. I have a good understanding of how government works.”

Lyles is a former assistant city manager with the city. She said that brings a unique skill set to the job and said she often has as much or more knowledge than city officials crafting policy.

Earlier this year, Lyles supported a proposal for the City Council to add protections for gay, lesbian and transgender residents to its non-discrimination ordinance.

Lyles said she supported the proposal as originally written. But she said she proposed a more limited ordinance, which did not include a provision that would allow transgender people to use the bathroom of their choosing.

She said that the ordinance that included the bathroom flexibility did not have the six votes to pass, so she pushed for a more limited ordinance.

“I had counted the votes,” Lyles said. “I knew we wouldn’t have support. I said, ‘OK, how can we get this done?”

Neither proposal passed.

If elected to a second term, Lyles said she wants to work to give people transit choices.

She said she wants to improve job growth, especially among the chronically unemployed and in east and west Charlotte. She said is working with former council member Ron Leeper to start an apprenticeship program.

Steve Harrison


Age: 63

Hometown: Columbia, S.C.

Family: Husband passed away in 2013, Two children, two step-children.

Education: Queens College (now Queens University), UNC Chapel Hill graduate degree

Occupation: Owner of a small consulting company; Charlotte City Council member. member

Political experience: City Council at-large member 2013-present; Assistant City manager from 1998-2005.

Community work: Novant Health Board of Trustees; former board member of CRVA; Foundation for the Carolinas; Arts and Science Council.

Meet the candidates in Charlotte’s at-large City Council primary

Read profiles of other Democrats vying to be the party’s three Charlotte City Council at-large nominees in Charlotte’s Sept. 15 primary. There is no Republican primary, with candidates Pablo Carvajal, John K. Powell Jr. and David Michael Rice appearing on the Nov. 3 ballot.

▪ Laurence Bibbs cites ‘fresh perspective’

▪ Darrell Bonapart advocates for east, west sides

▪ Bruce Clark to focus on economic mobility

▪ Julie Eiselt cites anti-crime efforts

▪ Claire Fallon pushes for public safety

▪ Sean Gautam cites civic experience

▪ Shawn Greeson focuses on environment, poverty

▪ Mo Idlibby cites legal experience

▪ Vi Lyles cites experience with city, council

▪ Billy Maddalon said LGBT vote spurred him to run

▪ James 'Smuggie' Mitchell to focus on sustainable neighborhoods

▪ Aaron Sanders would focus on services