“The Freshman Class”: New Charlotte City Council members sworn in


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — The new members of the Charlotte City Council and the new mayor were  officially sworn in Monday night.

The council includes the first African American woman serving as mayor and six members under the age of 40. The so called “Freshman Class” will lower the average age of the council dramatically, from 66 to 46.

We started this story by reaching out to the new council members on social media. In a matter of minutes, we had three interviews set up– an example of how younger and more accessible government leaders are moving the Queen City forward.

RELATED: First African-American female mayor Vi Lyles sworn in at historic ceremony

“That old motto of millennial being in their parents’ basement and waking up at 10 and ‘me, me, me’ is absolutely not the way it is anymore,” said Tariq Bokhari, 37 years old and represents District 6.

“I know I had a lot of questions for my government. I know that other people had given me the privilege and responsibility for amplifying their voices, asking their questions, and telling their stories,” said Braxton Winston, 34 years old and serves in an at-large seat.

These new members are cutting the average age on City Council by 20 years. “All of us are pretty active on social media so I think there will be more opportunities for people to see behind the curtain and hopefully that will lead them to be more engaged and involved,” said Larken Egleston, 35 years old and represents District 1.

Each one bringing their own strengths: “I’m FinTech. I’m going to look a lot at how we can automate processes, how can we use FinTech from a NexGen perspective to really change the way government can operate,” said Bokhari. 

They also being their own experiences: “Through social media, going and asking, I was able to find out where to go within my government to ask the questions. I brought people along with me so as I was learning, so was other people. It’s a more efficient use of time and resources, especially for working class people in Charlotte,” said Winston.

While serving all their constituents no matter their age.

“We were elected not only by our peers age-wise but also by older voters. I think older voters are ready to pass the torch and say, ‘it’s your turn to lead’ and ‘step up and do it’. Now we just have to prove them right,” said Egleston.

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