This week, I mourn with my Charlotte community as we received the news of Charlotte Mayor Christi Rankin’s passing on Sunday evening. When I received the call from Charlotte council member, Liz Ramon, I was in complete shock and disbelief.
I still am today.
There are no right words to describe the powerhouse that was Christi Rankin, both as a person and as a leader in our community. A native of the small town myself, I was excited when she took on the role of mayor. I couldn’t help but be a little bias as I knew she would do amazing things for our small town. And that she did.
Christi wasn’t just the mayor of Charlotte to me, but an acquaintance I could call or text with no hesitation when it came to anything about the town. She was easy to talk to, told me how it was and how she wanted it to be, but most of all, she got things done.
When I first interviewed her as mayor, she told me her top goal was the renovation of the Charlotte Public Library, which was stalled at the time. In the past two years, with roadblocks due to the pandemic, she accomplished that goal. Also, in less than a year, she brought in the first Charlotte Police Department. I remember my many conversations with her about this. She was always concerned about the safety of her citizens, never putting her wants or needs first, but always the citizens and the town. In her short time as mayor, Christi accomplished so much, though it may not look like it to some. She brought pride, beauty, safety and change for the better to the City of Charlotte.
Christi always called me “sweetie” during our conversations in a way that magnified her motherly and loving traits. Of the many people I spoke to about her, Charlotte Municipal Judge Rosalinda DeLaFuente was spot on when she said Christi embodied the best of the human spirit—loved and respected by all. Whenever she walked into a room, she brought in this fun yet go-getter energy, always ready to get things done. Charlotte council meetings have always been my favorite to cover due to the atmosphere she created.
I could go on and on about Christi, but I won’t. If you read the story on this week’s front page, you’ll see just how special she was to a lot of people. The community feels this huge loss, but I know the people she leaves behind will make sure we all move forward as she would want us to.
REBECCA PESQUEDA is the News Editor of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org