City Council Member LaWana Mayfield

  • LaWana, where did you grow up and what was your most favorite thing to do as a child? I was born in Louisiana and when I was around 5 years old my parents moved my siblings and I to Miami, Fl. I was a pretty spoiled child up to my Father passing away suddenly when I was 13 and my mother being diagnosed with Cancer soon afterward. This was difficult for all of us and I was living on my own by age 17. As a child I loved playing outside with my neighborhood friends.
  • What brings you the most happiness today?Today my joy comes from helping others by connecting them to resources and spending time with the Friends/Family I have created over the years.
  • What makes you the saddest? Honestly I spend too many nights and wake up far too early in the morning thinking of all I am unable to “FIX’ in this role as an Elected Official.
  • What brought you to Charlotte and when? I moved to Charlotte originally in the late 90’s like most people running from 1 reality with a desire to create a new one.
  • How did you initially get involved in the Charlotte community?Around the late 90’s I heard a radio commercial asking for volunteers for Charlotte’s Suicide Hotline with a focus on 3rd operators. At this time in my life I had not come OUT to myself much less anyone else but after hearing the statistics of suicide and attempted suicides due to NOT being accepted and Loved I knew if nothing else I could go through a training and be a voice on the other end of the phone line to listen and share resources.
  • Was there a defining moment or series of events that led you to run for office? That’s an interesting question… a good friend of mine Attorney Connie Vetter and I had served on multiple Boards and volunteered together in the community for years. One of the organizations was MECKPAC=Mecklenburg Political Action Committee…we were looking to identify an Openly/OUT Community minded resident to RUN for office instead of always trusting the current Candidates to Fight for Equality for All and they had a side meeting where it was discussed that maybe my 20+ years in community as a volunteer of issues from homeless, job opportunities and blight in communities would help.
  • What are the most pressing issues facing Charlotte? Briefly expound on each one, if you will. Lack of job/career opportunities for residents living in or from certain zip codes. I feel ALL issues are related to access…access to education, access to better employment, access to multiple forms of transportation etc. When you have a good paying job you have the opportunity to not only advance your life but the lives of your family members.
  • If you had a magic wand and could cause one thing to happen instantly what would it be?To time travel to ensure “Red Lining” was NEVER created  And why? As a community we are still facing the impacts of “Red Lining”, a credit reporting system that is bias, unfair lending practices by financial institutions and concentrated poverty because although African Americans were fine to fight on the front lines in the WAR non-Blacks did not want US to live in what they believed were “Their” communities. Government caused these issues through language and policy that sanctioned discrimination with NO regard to African American owned communities that were burned down to give access to whites


About LaWana:

A Democrat, LaWana  represents District 3 on the Charlotte City Council. She was elected in 2011 and is serving her third term, which began December 2, 2015.

Mayfield was appointed by Charlotte’s Mayor to and currently serves on the following committees: Budget; Governance & Accountability (Vice Chair); Intergovernmental Relations; Housing & Neighborhood Development (Chair); and Economic Development & Global Competitiveness.

She serves as Chair of the National League of Cities’ LGBT Local Officials’ Constituency Group, Race Equity And Leadership and its Human Development Committee. She is a member of the Centralina Economic Development Commission and is the Secretary of the Board of North Carolina Black Elected Municipal Officials (NCBEMO).

In 2014 Mayfield was awarded the David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellowship and completed the Fellowship’s curriculum at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2016 Mayfield received the Mayor’s Youth Employment Leadership Award. Mayfield was also featured as the Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO of the Month) in April 2016.

Mayfield was appointed by Charlotte’s Mayor to and currently serves on the following committees: Budget; Governance & Accountability (Vice Chair); Intergovernmental Relations; Housing & Neighborhood Development (Chair); and Economic Development & Global Competitiveness.

NEXT: Read Heard on the Street


Heard on the Street 10-13-17

Kim McMillan:  Formally head of  the department of Public Information  for the City of Charlotte, recently left Moore and Van Allen for a new adventure.  She is currently VP of Marketing and Communications Charlotte Regional Realtors Association.

Tim Newman has a new adventure too.  He recently departed ways with Daniel Levine where he headed up asset management.  He is developing a program called Adult Spectrum Transition, which will develop paths towards an independent life for South Carolina special needs adults over the age of 21.  They will provide vocational training as well as job placement, transportation and housing, It will be based in Rock Hill and open for business in January. Tim has two 21 year old autistic boys and if anyone has the heart and know how about special needs adults, it is Tim.  I see this as a tremendous success for Tim and a valuable ministry .

Black Political Caucus made their endorsements for the General Election after the Mayoral City Council debate which took place on October 5. Their plans for the upcoming election November 7 is to mail to all A and B voters in the African American households in the city,  distribute flyers, mail to ministers, run radio spots, and  conduct an aggressive social media campaign. Their estimated budget for all that is $14, 750.  Only Democrats were endorsed with the exception of Republican Tariq Bakhari who in running for City Council District 6 against a Democrat and a Librarian.

Tricia Cotham, former NC House representative has joined Mc Guire Woods consulting.



Charlotte's political and business scuttlebutt with Lynn Wheeler