What I Know: Maggie Lewis

She’s the new City-County Council president, and the first woman to hold the job.

AGE: 39   GIG: Politician and executive director of the Dove Recovery House for Women  GIRL POWER: As the new City-County Council president—the first woman to hold the job—Lewis has been leading the push for a new, more comprehensive smoking ban.

I’m an early bird. I get up at 4:30 a.m. and exercise—so I’m a morning person. But don’t call me after 9 p.m. I’ve got nothing to say to you after 9 p.m.

We’ve got to take care of our bodies. Everyone should exercise. I like doing the kind of cardio that makes your heart feel like it’s going to jump out of your chest.

I love fried chicken. I know, I know. People will think, “Oh, that’s a stereotype,” but I love what I love, you know? I can go through the drive-thru, visit a mom-and-pop kind of place, or make it myself. I love it all.

We eat out a lot because my husband and I both work, but I can cook a mean mac-and-cheese. My husband can’t cook anything but Hot Pockets.

I’m the best at Michael Jackson [The Experience] on the Wii. I’m a good dancer. Well, I think I’m a good dancer.

I was on the dance team at Indiana State. Still have some of my old Sparkette uniforms and a bunch of photos I’m never, ever going to share. Lots of makeup and big hair.

My mother has always seen something special in me. She’s always been a cheerleader, pushing me to do my best. I tell her she’s my best friend.

She reminds me that she’s not my friend, she’s my mother.

My 5-year-old son will say the most random things. Politicians will, too. They don’t have filtering systems. Sometimes you just have to accept that and move on.

It drives people crazy, but it’s important to listen to one another.

People will say some really nasty things during a campaign. But at the end of the day, we all want to do what’s best for the community.

I want people in the community to feel like they are truly part of the process and a part of dealing with the issues that affect this city.

There are people at the other end of Washington Street just trying to survive, day to day. That puts everything into perspective for me.

How to balance everything—that’s the key in politics.

—as told to Michael Rubino


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue.