You might say that Ingrid Lewis-Martin’s life has always been all about Brooklyn. Born at St. John’s Hospital, currently known as Interfaith Hospital, she was raised and educated in the borough at various public schools. She then ventured across the river to attend college in Manhattan.
She now serves as the senior advisor to Borough President Adams, having been his chief of staff when he was a state senator. Lewis-Martin’s love for her job, as well as her life’s mission of serving others, is apparent.
“What I love about my job is that it has afforded me the opportunity to be a community activist, who has identified and worked hard to elect quality elected officials who truly care about the constituents that they are elected to serve,” says the Woman of Distinction. “Through my role as the senior advisor to Borough President Adams, our partnership has enabled me to positively impact the lives of so many individuals who truly need supportive services, which I view as a blessing.”
Lewis-Martin also values her ability to directly influence judgments and resolutions that will have lasting value.
“It further allows me to be at the table to make decisions that will positively impact future generations for many years to come,” she says.
Lewis-Martin’s career accomplishments are long and varied. In 2008 she was instrumental in assisting Barack Obama’s New York City primary campaign. She developed literature which was used throughout Brooklyn to ensure that delegates were elected, and Eric Adams received the second highest number of votes as a delegate in New York State.
In addition, she was the lead political strategist and campaign manager who put together the team responsible for electing Adams as the first African-American president of the borough.
In 2010 she worked closely with the campaign team of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and personally developed and implemented the winning strategy for central Brooklyn. In 2005 Lewis-Martin cited the Wilson Pakula Act, which allowed then-Councilwoman Letitia James to run on the Democratic Party line, after the Working Families had threatened to not provide her with its political line.
“I was told by the county that this was the second time in city history that it had ever been accomplished,” she explains.
The hard work and activism that has become a way of life for Lewis-Martin is rooted in her childhood.
“I grew up in an era during the 1970s where the local supermarket did not hire people of color,” she says.
“As a child, my classmates and our parents worked with our educator, Ms. Scott, to successfully picket the A&P Supermarkets and as a result, A&P’s management successfully negotiated with the community and started to hire people of color.”
Since then Lewis-Martin has built upon the lessons learned in childhood to create deep and long-lasting change in Brooklyn.
Neighborhood: Wingate Terrace.
Occupation: Senior advisor to the Brooklyn Borough President.
Company: Borough Hall.
Claim To Fame: “Being a political strategist.”
Woman I Admire: “My mother Violet A. Worrell.”
Motto: “In life everyone makes errors. In any given circumstances, treat others in the manner in which you want to be treated. It is by far easier to be kind than harsh.”