Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America. First elected mayor in December 1975, Mayor Riley is serving an unprecedented tenth term.
Under his leadership, Charleston has:
- Increased its commitment to racial harmony and progress
- Achieved a substantial decrease in crime
- Experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district
- Seen the creation and growth of Spoleto Festival U.S.A.
- Added significantly to the city’s park system (including the highly celebrated Waterfront Park)
- Developed nationally-acclaimed affordable housing
- Experienced unprecedented growth in Charleston’s size and population
Mayor Riley has led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children’s issues, the creation of park and other public spaces, and economic revitalization and development. The City of Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.