96-year-old man, unable to vote until he was 44, just helped elect his daughter to mayor

Leah Prinzivalli
Photo: Twitter/Aisha Alexander
Photo: Twitter/Aisha Alexander

Vi Lyles, the first-ever black woman elected mayor of Charlotte, N.C., is sharing the joy with her entire family.

On Monday, Lyles’s daughter, Aisha Alexander, shared a tweet about how the election made history not just for the city, but for her family as well. “My grandfather is a 96 year old Charlotte native. He wasnt allowed to vote until he was 44 years old when the Voting Rights Act passed,” she wrote. “This year, he voted for my mom @ViLyles who became the 1st Black woman elected to the office of mayor of Charlotte. #MondayMotivation.”

Lyles isn’t focused on the historic landmark of her election, she tells Bustle. “I think that the historical portion of [my election] is that this community supported a black woman that didn’t have all the answers, but had the commitment of trust and integrity,” said Lyles. “All the analysis says it has to be this or that. But all politics is local.”

While Lyles plans to transform Charlotte — her goal is to “rebuild trust” between the city and its citizens — newly elected progressive officials in other cities are working on their own plans. Eight cities across the country elected black mayors for the first time. Danica Roem, the first openly transgender person elected to state office, has promised to tackle LGBT health care and coverage.

Lyles is working on her first goal: Trust. “That’s what I want, for our city to be a place that government is trusted to serve everyone,” she told Bustle. While she works on citywide trust, we’re happy to see she already has some fellow citizens — the members of her own family — by her side.

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