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Staff Snapshots | Gerald Martin

Oct. 6, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Gerald Martin

Hometown: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Role: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, Washington State Senate

Years of legislative service: Less than one.

The best advice he’s ever received: “‘Be yourself, if you are kind,’ from my mama.”


Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?

I sought to work in the Legislature because I love the political process, which is inherently a “people” process. I believe that if I do my job well (infusing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within the Senate), these values will permeate and find their way into legislation making and constituent access to Senators/the Senate processes. I literally can help all those who live or work in Washington State in a small but meaningful way.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my ability to see the humanity in what we do and infuse that humanity in work cultures and processes.

Who or what inspires you?

I have three quotes that are equally inspiring to me and form the foundation of my kindness­based leadership and DEI approaches:

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

—Attributed to Buddha

Work for a cause, not for applause.

Live life to express, not to impress.

Don’t strive to make your presence noticed.

Just make your absence felt.


We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.

—James Baldwin

What’s one thing you love about your state?

Natural scenery: mountains and water.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I just completed the SHRM Inclusive Workplace Culture certification process. The content for this is the last thing I read and watched. The 2022 NBA draft was the last thing I listened to on the radio.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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