Vi Lyles

Mayor Vi Lyles talks with the media.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 2:39 p.m.
Mayor Vi Lyles said Monday that keeping the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte is the single biggest  business retention challenge the city faces right now.

Panelists at the Charlotte Talks Public Conversation: Building An Inclusive City. From left: Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, District Attorney Spencer Merriweather, City Manager Marcus Jones and Police Chieff Kerr Putney.
Daniel Coston / WFAE

Charlotte is in a historic moment. Most of the city's top leaders are African American. The question is how they'll shape the city as it responds to economic inequality, crime and growth. WFAE tackled that question Wednesday night in a public conversation titled "Building an Inclusive City."

We’re at a historic time in Charlotte’s political leadership. The mayor, city manager, police chief and Mecklenburg County district attorney are African-American. All will be on Charlotte Talks this week for a Public Conversation broadcast entitled: Building an Inclusive City: Charlotte’s African American Leaders Share their Vision. Charlotte Talks producer Erin Keever discusses the upcoming conversation with Morning Edition Host Marshall Terry.

Mayor Vi Lyles on Charlotte Talks for "Mike and the Mayor."
Erin Keever / WFAE

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles says she's worried that the city's income diversity will be hurt if it continues to lose affordable housing units and doesn't improve its bus system.

Vi Lyles takes the oath of office as Charlotte's new mayor Monday night from Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans.
David Boraks / WFAE

Change - on both the city council and across the city - was the main theme Monday night as Charlotte's new mayor, Vi Lyles, and city council council were sworn in at the Government Center.  The meeting was mostly ceremonial, except for one closely watched piece of business: election of a new mayor pro tem. On that, the council stuck to tradition.

Gwendolyn Glenn

Now that the election is behind her, Mayor-elect Vi Lyles says she wants to get to know the new City Council members and work to unify the city across party lines and neighborhoods. At a press conference Wednesday, Lyles said affordable housing is one of her top priorities.

Jenifer Roser / WFAE

Election Day is now just two weeks away. Early voting has already begun.

And the big race, the one for Charlotte's next mayor, is too close to call, at least according to a Spectrum news poll.

Tuesday, the two candidates for that post, Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith took part in a Charlotte Talks debate. And though few political elbows were thrown, the candidates did paint very different pictures about how they would lead.  

Greg Collard / WFAE

Charlotte’s two mayoral candidates see expanding public transit as a way to increase economic mobility in the city. Republican Kenny Smith and Democrat Vi Lyles addressed the issue on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks this morning. But they disagree on whether the streetcar is a good investment. 

Moderator Jeff Sonnier of WTVI (center) and mayoral candidates Vi Lyles and Kenny Smith watched a video clip during the debate taping Thursday. The debate airs Tuesday night on WTVI.
David Boraks / WFAE

In a half-hour debate Thursday organized by the League of Women Voters, Charlotte's two mayoral candidates went head-to-head on a variety of city issues. Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith differed on taxes, tolls and city priorities. But they started by agreeing on one thing - the need for new leadership as they compete to replace current Democratic mayor Jennifer Roberts. 

The results of Tuesday's primaries are in, and it was a night of upsets in Charlotte. Young challengers beat long time incumbents and the city will have a new mayor.

Republican Kenny Smith easily won his primary. And Vi Lyles defeated Jennifer Roberts and Joel Ford in the Democratic primary. In a surprise, that race wasn't even close.

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