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Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles discusses election maps, racial equity initiative, innovation district and more


Mayor Vi Lyles is back for another of our regular monthly conversations about Charlotte’s most important issues.

Lyles and other local leaders have launched a major initiative to address racial disparities in Charlotte. Many of the city’s largest corporations and philanthropic organizations have donated $250 million to the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative. City leaders have been working to improve economic mobility for years, so will this investment finally help move the needle? We’ll talk with the mayor about her vision and what she hopes to accomplish.

Charlotte City Council has approved new election maps, shifting thousands of residents into new districts. This redistricting is a result of new data from the 2020 census and aims to level out population growth equally across all districts. But at least one change is controversial — residents of the Hidden Valley neighborhood have protested and filed a lawsuit against a move to their new district.

The city is considering chipping in taxpayer funds for an “innovation district” proposed by Atrium Health. The hospital system has requested $75 million worth of taxpayer incentives from the city and county to help pay for infrastructure around the medical school planned in midtown Charlotte. Lyles has said she supports public funding for the project.

And City Council continues to haggle over how to fund the $13.5 billion transit expansion plan. Lyles has a plan to navigate the tough road ahead for the proposed mobility network, but not everyone on council is on board.


Vi Lyles, mayor of Charlotte

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Charlotte Talks Executive Producer Wendy Herkey has been with WFAE since 1998, beginning in the membership department, and has been on the Charlotte Talks staff since 1999.