HRC and Equality North Carolina, the statewide organization working for LGBTQ equality, released the following statements after Vi Lyles won the Charlotte mayoral race:
“Vi Lyles has the vision and experience needed to move equality forward in the Queen City, and we look forward to working with her in her new role as mayor,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “We congratulate her well-fought campaign and celebrate this important victory for the city for Charlotte.”
“I’m proud that the people of Charlotte have chosen my friend Vi Lyles to be the next mayor of Charlotte," said Matt Hirschy Interim Executive Director Equality NC. "Vi has proven that she is ready to work for the betterment of all Charlotteans. As one of the fastest growing cities in the South, Charlotte needs to be a welcoming city for all, especially LGBTQ people. Equality NC stands ready to work with mayor-elect Vi Lyles on ensuring that this will become a reality.”
Lyles has over 40 years of public service leadership experience in Charlotte, including 30 years of work for city government. Vi Lyles is committed to passing fully-inclusive, commonsense non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors in Charlotte.
After local leaders, including Lyles, passed LGBTQ non-discrimination protections in February 2016, anti-LGBTQ state lawmakers viciously ripped away those protections through the dangerous HB2 and its similarly discriminatory replacement HB 142. While other major southern cities like Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; and Birmingham, Alabama have these critically important protections in place, Charlotte remains one of the largest cities in the country without them.
HRC and Equality NC also congratulate the slate of new pro-equality city council members including Dimple Ajmera, Julie Eiselt, James Mitchell and Braxton Winston. The Charlotte City Council is currently facing a variety of important local concerns on economic opportunity and mobility, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform -- all issues which disproportionately impact the LGBTQ community.