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Ingrid Lewis-Martin : Celebrating Women’s History Month

Ingrid Lewis-Martin is the newly appointed Chief Advisor to Mayor of New York City Eric Adams’ administration. Lewis-Martin’s duties include collaborating directly with the first deputy mayor, chief of staff, and working on all reports that end up on the mayor’s desk. She has a rich history in the New York political landscape having previously served as the Deputy Brooklyn Borough President. She shares close ties with Adams having served as his senior advisor while he was New York State Senator. She has also served in the role of chief of staff for Adams. “We are building a team that knows how to get stuff done, and my chief advisor has a track record of getting stuff done for New Yorkers left behind by the government for far too long,” Adams said in a clear vote of confidence. “It is an honor to serve this city and continue working in partnership with Mayor Adams, who has been a great champion for New Yorkers,” Lewis-Martin said. 

Ingrid Lewis-Martin, of Panamanian and Barbadian descent, is a native of New York City. She was born in St John’s Hospital in Brooklyn, which is now known as the Interfaith Medical Center. Lewis-Martin grew up in Brooklyn, attending school in the area until attending college in Manhattan. She has played a commendable role in both the fields of politics and education. According to reports, she started her political career in 1983 when she volunteered as part of the campaign team for the late Representative Major R. Owens. She later became deputy campaign manager for Owens. During her time working under Owens, she learned how to be assertive in an environment that, at times, did not take women seriously. “I had to really be not aggressive but very firm, and really make my voice heard, so then you become labeled as aggressive,” she said. Her background in education started with her receiving a license to educate from the New York City Board of Education.  She taught English and Social Studies at I.S Jackie Robinson, her former school. She taught at the school from 1984 until 1992. Lewis-Martin played various roles at her alma mater such as dean of students, graduation coordinator, and she taught a class in African and modern dance as an extra-curricular class. She went on to Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College where she worked on a project that assisted women on welfare obtain academic qualifications such as high school diplomas and college degrees. She subsequently became director of a project that helped high school students earn 12 college credits within four years. This project was known as Progressive Adolescent Vocation Exploration (PAVE). 

Lewis-Martin has gained a reputation as a political strategist. She has played significant roles in various political campaigns. Eric Adams is one politician who can vouch for her as she has helped him get elected into a number of roles. She managed Adams’ campaign, setting up the team that led to him becoming the first African-American Brooklyn Borough President. In 2008, she played an instrumental role in Barack Obama’s New York primary campaign. Former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman saw Lewis-Martin’s skill first hand as she assisted his campaign team. According to reports, she came up with the winning strategy for central Brooklyn in that campaign. “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 get quality officials elected who truly care about the constituents that they are elected to serve,” she said about herself and the work she does. “I think that being a black woman, a woman of West Indian, Panamanian, and American descent, helped me to look at things from the perspective of which I look at things,” she said. 

Ingrid Lewis-Martin and Mayor Eric Adams are long-time supporters of the African Community in New York City.  Lewis-Martin has worked closely over the years with African leaders including Mona Davids, Gbubemi Okotieuro, Rotimi Akinnuoye, and other civic and business leaders.  Under her leadership, Lewis-Martin promoted bi-lateral trade, investment, and tourism between the Borough of Brooklyn and various African countries.

Lewis-Martin grew up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She has a fond relationship with her borough which is shown by the work and commitment she does within the community and city at large. She grew up in a home with loving and supportive parents. Lewis-Martin feels that the neighbors in her area were like a united family that looked out for each other and acted as surrogate parents that looked out for her. Respect is one of the qualities she was taught by her neighborhood, everyone deserved to be respected. Lewis-Martin enjoys life outside the office too. She was in charge of the biggest martial arts competition in the state. Karaoke is another one of her favorite past times. Being of West Indian descent, Lewis-Martins enjoys indulging in cuisine from her homeland that she prepares on her own. She does make time for some of Brooklyn’s eateries with Michael’s and Marco Polo being her favorite.   

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