DFA backs trailblazing African-American women in Mayoral races in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Compton

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed City Councilmember Vi Lyles for Mayor of Charlotte, NC, following the endorsements on Friday of City Councilmember Yvette Simpson in her campaign for Mayor of Cincinnati, and Mayor Aja Brown for re-election in Compton, CA.

Earlier this year, DFA endorsed Tishaura Jones, who came within 900 votes of winning the primary in her race to be the next Mayor of St. Louis. The endorsements are part of the national progressive organization’s commitment to invest $500,000 to elect progressive leaders in municipal races this cycle.

DFA Chair Jim Dean on the major mayoral endorsements:

Yvette Simpson knows firsthand the challenges that Cincinnati's most underprivileged residents face, and she is committed to a vision of equitable growth for the city that doesn’t leave anyone behind. Simpson is a tireless fighter who has proven that she’s not afraid to tackle tough problems like violence prevention, human trafficking, and homelessness. We are thrilled to support her campaign for Mayor. ” -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Vi Lyles has been a strong voice for progressive change in Charlotte, from standing up to the discriminatory policies of HB2 to fighting for a $15 minimum wage. Her bold vision for a more equitable, just, and fair Charlotte includes important changes in opening up employment opportunities on city contracts by ‘banning the box’ and promoting the hire of low-income residents. We are excited to help Vi Lyles bring her strong leadership to the mayor’s office.”  -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Mayor Aja Brown is a rising star of the progressive movement. As the youngest elected Mayor of Compton, she has helped reinvigorate the city through innovative industry-specific vocational training, fought human trafficking by ending hourly motel rentals, and mandated 35% local hiring for all city projects through the First Source Hiring Agreement. We are excited to support Mayor Brown’s  continued work and excited to see what more she will accomplish as Mayor of Compton.” -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

As a City Councilmember, Simpson established a Homeless-to-Work pilot program that seeks to ensure long-term employment for homeless residents of Cincinnati. She has also presented legislation to create a fund for domestic abuse survivors and passed a bill she co-authored establishing paid paternity leave for city employees. If she wins, Simpson will be Cincinnati’s first African-American woman mayor. The primary election is on May 2.

Prior to her election to an at-large position on the City Council in 2013, Lyles had spent nearly thirty years in Charlotte’s city government, including more than a decade as the assistant city manager. She was instrumental in guiding Charlotte’s affordable housing plan and in the development of Mecklenburg County’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Program -- both of which had a dramatic impact on improving the lives of forgotten Charlotte residents. If she wins, Lyles will be Charlotte’s first African-American woman mayor. The primary election is on September 12.

Mayor Aja Brown was elected at the age of 31, becoming the youngest elected Mayor of Compton, California. Her re-election as mayor would continue to push the city in a new direction that improves the lives of Compton residents. The primary election is on April 18.

Democracy for America is a people-powered political action committee with 1 million members nationwide. In the past it has helped elect progressive leaders to municipal leadership across the country, including Mayor Michael Tubbs of Stockton (CA), Vice Mayor Regina Romero of Tucson, Illinois’ Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, and City Councillor Helen Gym of Philadelphia.

Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $40 million and made more than 11.1 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 915 progressive candidates nationwide.