“I actually wanted to be an entertainment attorney slash sports,” said Stacy Lynch. “You watched the movie ‘Jerry Maguire’? Yeah. I wanted to be like that’s my calling in life. I went to law school for about 10 years. and it was a wonderful experience. But then, you know, politics, community service, public service was always a part of my life.
“I resisted it for a very long time.” But Lynch eventually dove into what surrounded her for most of her life.
The daughter of the late local political powerhouse and former city deputy mayor Bill Lynch, Stacy is entering her first year as chief of staff under New York State Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin after serving as the deputy director of Intergovernmental Affairs under former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. But her life has been filled with politics and the fight for community.
Harlem-bred and Harlem born, Lynch lived in Lenox Terrace before her family made its way to Sugar Hill. She attended St. Jean High School, Hampton University (what she calls “the best HBCU in the world!”) and went to the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She was surrounded by politics growing up and didn’t realize her experiences were unique until she got older.
“Jesse Jackson would come to town, and he would be in our kitchen making pancakes or making eggs,” said Stacy. “It was a normal experience. Most of these folks came around and were like family to me. It was only when my father became deputy mayor that I realized it was slightly different than normal.”
With one older sibling, Billy Lynch III (president of Bill Lynch Associates, LLC), Stacy said that they had a typical brother/sister relationship with fighting and making up. They both shared a love of politics. Stacy’s love came later than expected.
“In 2013 when my father passed away, that’s when I fell deeply in love with politics, ironically,” said Stacy.
Being tapped as Brian Benjamin’s chief by staff isn’t a wild card either.
Her relationship with Brian coalesced around the rumored closing of Wadleigh High School in Central Harlem. “We make sure that we’re doing the right thing here as it relates to the parents, the students, and the people in the community.
“Brian says to me like, ‘I need you to handle this for me,’” said Lynch. “It’s important, right? So he and I worked very closely on making sure that that school and the administration didn’t close and that we were listening to the voices of the community. Then we provided the resources needed for the school so that the parents and the students and the teachers can develop happy, productive students. And so, you know, I think that was the beginning of our working relationship.”
Lynch, understanding the reputation of having well-known/famous relatives, helped established “Daughters of the Movement,” which includes the daughters of Harry Belafonte, Malcolm X, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Al Sharpton and the granddaughter of Percy Sutton.
“We grew up together and came together originally as a social network to support each other,” said Stacy. “We used to have monthly dinners and emphasized the importance of sisterhood.” This sisterhood has turned into a “Speaker Series” which focuses on humor and inspirational stories about their famous relatives to help bridge the past with the current movements and the “Clubhouse Series” where the daughters discuss their own lives in the world of social justice.
But just because she’s speaking to you, doesn’t mean she wants her voice known. Stacy would rather have her impact manifest in policy change and social justice. Something that she learned from her father.
“You don’t necessarily have to be the loudest person in the room to push the needle,” Stacy said her father told her. “He was super intentional about bringing people together…I think I’m very much the same and that way. And he was also a firm believer in community, community impact, and that policy should be driven by community.”