Jennifer Ferguson knows the old way isn't working for the American people, and she realizes there are real solutions we can put into motion now to improve the future and provide security for our children, grandchildren and generations to come.
Ms. Ferguson has been lobbying in Olympia and Washington, D.C., since 2011 to increase wages, improve education for k-12 (thus offering better job preparation), lower the cost of advanced education, support the Voting Rights Act and the Violence Against Women's Act, and to eradicate homelessness on all levels.
In 2012 Ms. Ferguson, along with three of her sorority sisters, including their 17th National President, Mona Humphries Bailey (former WA state Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction), had the opportunity to meet Congressman Norm Dicks in his office regarding concern for veterans and soldiers diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Ms. Ferguson took the opportunity to tell him about the program at Madigan Army Medical Center, where she had volunteered 2200 hours. Ms. Ferguson explained to the Congressman and his staff about the program, both limitations and successes. Congressman Dicks immediately began his investigation of her facts and within 48 hours announced a Congressional Investigation into the program. Ms. Ferguson was happy to be able to be of assistance to veterans relying on the services at Madigan.
As a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., since 1978, Ms. Ferguson has shown her commitment to social justice, education, community empowerment, and economic empowerment. In 2013 she marched with Delta in the reenactment of the 1913 Women's Suffrage March representing Washington state. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc is the only organization still in existence today that marched in 1913. In 2014 she was appointed Social Action Chair for the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Since serving as Social Action Chair, she has established an impressive network to encourage action and education in reducing child sex trafficking. She has worked to improve collaboration with other important institutions, including Pacific Lutheran University's Women's Center, Shared Hope International, Pierce County Anti-Trafficking Taskforce. The mission was to bring awareness to its prevalence in not only Washington State, but throughout the United States. Taking a powerful stance with Ms. Ferguson at the helm, this group launched a powerful sex trafficking event at Pacific Lutheran University in the spring of 2015.
Ms. Ferguson has dedicated her life to helping others. She is a licensed minister and is working towards ambassadorship for Shared Hope International (Eradicating Child Sex Trafficking). After becoming a chemical dependency counselor working with youth involved in drugs and some involved in gangs, Ms. Ferguson obtained a Masters degree in Psychology / Marriage and Family Therapy.
Ms. Ferguson's goals remain to strengthen families, empower domestic violence victims of all genders, and work to make sure veterans and their families are taken care of. Ms. Ferguson believes young people are America’s future. As a small business owner, she hired at-risk youth. She trained them, yet allowed them time to be a parent, be active in sports, and still support a child when needed. She worked with them before graduating high school to empower them mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, while teaching them work ethics, which helped prepare them for better job opportunities in the future. Congress creates too many laws without funds to operate and people to implement in the communities. This must change as many people know of the provision and believe people are too lazy to take advantage yet, it is not true because many lack knowledge of said programs.
In 2014, Ms. Ferguson volunteered with the Human Services Commission, Basic Needs Program, for the City of Tacoma. There were more than four million active requests, with resources available to distribute to only two million. This is just one of the reasons minimum wage has to increase. When the heads of households are working 40 hours per week and are unable to provide the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter to their families, we have to recognize there is a problem. The old way simply isn't working. The trade deal NAFTA has hurt our economy and the TPP is NAFTA on steroids. All of our basic needs will be impacted to include medication and food.
In winter 2014 and fall of 2015, working with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Pacific Lutheran University, Ms. Ferguson took community leadership further and launched a Resource Fair & Summit for veterans, spouses and dependents. In 2015, the Resource Fair & Summit included support for incarcerated veterans, to reduce the impacts of recidivism once released. Ms. Ferguson believes that there is a huge gap between veterans and the needed mental health services that lead to systematic legal issues. This would not occur if needed mental health services were available in a place where active duty and veterans felt comfortable. Our law makers need to understand the cost of war is high and does not end when the soldier returns home.
For these very reasons, Ms. Ferguson's dedication and commitment has proven her ability to serve Washington State and to represent Washington State as a U.S. Senator.
Below is a abbreviated outline of Jennifer GiGi Ferguson’s academic, professional and community affiliations.
- Chapman University-JBLM, Psychology/Marriage and Family MA
- Evergreen State College, Liberal Arts, BA
- Tacoma Community College, Human Services
- University of Maryland Europe, Business Administration
- Austin Peay State University, Business Management
- Double minor in Computer Science and Military Science
Professional and Community Affiliations:
- 2016-Present African Chamber of the Northwest
- 2015-Present Tacoma City Club
- 2014-Present Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Tacoma Chapter
- Social Action Chair
- 2014-Present: Toastmasters – Asia Pacific Cultural Center
- Membership Chair
- 2013-Present: Shared Hope International
- 2012-2014 National Association of Professional Women
- 2008- Present: NAACP
- 1993-2013 Volunteer with Children's Services/Child Protective Teams
- 1978– Present: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
Jennifer GiGi Ferguson on the issues:
" I BELIEVE…$15.00 an hour is needed now, not in three years. Let's be real; with the cost of inflation even $13.00 an hour, in three years will not help the middle class or the lower socioeconomic bracket. We can find a way to achieve this wage and not put the small business owner out of business, but we all have to work together. Having been a small business owner myself, I certainly understand the hardships. However, equal pay for equal work is a necessity."
" I believe we cannot ignore prominent issues such as domestic violence and human trafficking, which is never acceptable."
" A woman's right to choose is a moral and personal decision; it has no place in the legal system."
" The House and Senate need to follow the U.S. Constitution and American unions were created to protect employees and create a middle class. No unions, no middle class. " The TPP is breaking unions.
" Every soldier and their family should have mental and physical healthcare, along with education and jobs opportunities, with the assurance, America stands behind them."
" Social Security is not negotiable." Not vouchers or privatization.
" Education is a vital key in assuring America's future. Children need tools to compete on a global scale and prepared for jobs yet to be created"
" College students do not need lifetime tuition debt. Debt free college tuition for families under $125,000"
" Small businesses are a vital part of our economic growth and structure."
- Jennifer GiGi Ferguson