The Get with Morgan Fogarty: Vi Lyles

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mayor Vi Lyles has plenty of fish to fry in Charlotte, but she’s still got time to help a stranger bake a cake. She explains, “And I walked with her though the grocery store with her cookbook recipe, and she said, ‘do you know how to make this?’ Yeah, but go simpler, go simpler!”

In politics, Lyles wants people to go nicer. In this climate of “anything goes” politics, Lyles is trying to hold on to milder, more bipartisan times. Despite plenty of pushback, she is bringing the 2020 Republican National Convention to the Democrat-majority Queen City, she says, in large part, because of the money it means for workers in the hospitality industry.

WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked Lyles, “What would you say to the folks who would push back on that and say the short term financial gain that a convention like this brings is not worth the ethical or moral dilemma that it puts Charlotte in?” Lyles replied, “I think when you’re comfortable, you can say that. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck…those are the folks that are the backbone of our economy. And they deserve the opportunity to work.”

Plenty of people still disagree with Lyles on the RNC issue, including her daughter, Aisha Alexander, who has a bold voice on social media, tweeting recently: “I am not my mama. I am under no political or legal obligation to read your ignorant opinions. I use the block button freely.” Fogarty asked, “Do you think she might ever follow in your political footsteps?” Lyles says, “Oh gosh no, she’s too forthright, I would say, to be able to survive. I say that in a joking way, but I think young people today are less fearful and less concerned about decorum, and we’re working through that as a country, and we hope to do it in Charlotte in a way that is appropriate.”

Lyle’s daughter isn’t fearful tweeting about tough topics, including the issues surrounding now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Lyles herself didn’t tweet specifically about Kavanaugh, but on October 1, in the midst of the FBI investigation, urged people to vote in the midterms, tweeting “We’re in a battle for the soul of our cities, states and country.”

Fogarty asked Lyles, “Do you believe Dr. (Christine Blasey) Ford?” Lyles says, “I do believe when women speak up like that, there is something that is a truthfulness about it. Because to be able to do that, to speak before an audience like that, you have to understand, there’s truth there.”

Lyles says she has met several times with new Panthers owner David Tepper. She says, “He’s very different from the prior owner (Jerry Richardson).”

Lyles tells Fogarty there has been no talk with Tepper yet about tax payer involvement in upcoming Panthers projects, like a new practice facility. Asking the public to fund enhanced sports entertainment could come on the heels of asking them to approve a $50 million bond package next month, to help bring more affordable housing to Charlotte.

Lyles says, “When I think about pro sports and what it means in terms of our overall economy, you don’t have to cause them to compete against those needs. Those are two very important issues that we ought to be able to comfortably deliver: quality affordable housing, and at the same time, attract pro sports, so they can have an impact on what we do in our city.”

Lyles says the next steps in the push for more affordable housing in Charlotte includes acquiring land, building more affordable housing units, and working with apartment owners to maintain current affordable housing.