Vi Lyles sworn in as new Charlotte mayor

History is made in the Queen City Monday night.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  The Queen City officially has a new mayor.

Vi Lyles was sworn in Monday night as Charlotte's 59th mayor. Lyles is the first African American woman to occupy the post in the city's history.

Lyles beat incumbent Jennifer Roberts by nearly 3,400 votes in September and then swept her Republican opponent Kenny Smith in November's election in an 18 point lead. So what will Lyles' first focus be on as mayor?

"We've always talked about what the issues are: jobs, housing and trust with law enforcement," Lyles told NBC Charlotte. "My passion over the years has been housing and that's really something I'm going to be passionate about." 

Before Mayor Jennifer Roberts passes the baton, she sat down with NBC Charlotte to discuss the past two years of a very eventful and controversial time as mayor.

From the controversial bathroom bill to the deadly riots following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Keith Scott, Roberts said the Queen City is a better place than it was when she first took office.

Roberts backed her statement by crediting a more transparent police department and efforts to protect LGBT citizens despite House Bill II. 

"In this last election we had transgender individuals elected across the country," Roberts said. "There is a group of people who feel that they can be who they are and they're going to continue to contribute and a lot of that is due to Charlotte taking a stand."

Despite her loss to Lyles, Roberts said she is proud of the incoming diverse city council which she said is part of her legacy.

"I think that the policy and values that I supported in two years are shown in this new group," Roberts said.

As for her advice for Lyles? Pace yourself.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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