Activism & Community Leadership

 

 Jennifer Gigi Ferguson knows the old way isn't working for the American people. She realizes we are fighting the same systemic battles in this country she and her family were fighting 50 years ago. Ms. Ferguson knows there are real solutions and she is aware it will take people becoming involved, voting, and electing people into office not beholden to corporate America. There are also 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 on issues such as increasing wages, improving education for k-12 (thus offering better job preparation), lowering the cost of advanced education, reenacting the Voting Rights Act, Violence Against Women's Act, Active Duty Military, Veterans and their families, and eradicating homelessness on all levels. In recent years they have added universal health care, systemic racism, women's rights, sex trafficking, voter suppression, gun rights, environmental protection, criminal justice reform, high school to prison pipeline, drug addiction, mental health issues, creating a clean Dream Act and immigration reform that is fair and equal for all people, and the 2020 census.

 

In 2012 Ms. Ferguson, along with three of her sorority sisters, including  their 17th National President, the late 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 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 Intensive Outpatient 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 other sorority sister's across the nation in the reenactment of the 1913 Women's Suffrage March where the 22 original founders of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc were the only Black females to march. In 2013 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc was the only organization still in existence from the 1913 march where Jennifer had the honor and opportunity to represent Washington state. 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 Task force, Faith Action Network, and Washington Housing Alliance. 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. In 2017, Ms. Ferguson was appointed as State Social Action Coordinator and Regional Social Action Representative for Washington State.

Ms. Ferguson has dedicated her life to helping others. She is a licensed minister. 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 working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, faith, and socioeconomic status. Ms. Ferguson feels discrimination of any type does not belong when writing bills and creating a safe space for all people in America.

 

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 provisions and believe people are too lazy to take advantage yet, it is not true because many lack knowledge of said programs or the programs are offered at times when babysitting is problematic.

 

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. 

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.

From 2015 to present, Ms Ferguson has protested against environmental issues such as the proposed largest methanol plant being built on the Tacoma Tide flats, the North Dakota Access Pipeline, and the proposed largest Liquid Natural Gas (LNG)plant in the world being built on the Tacoma Tide flats. LNG is safe however; the process it must go through to get to that point is extremely unsafe the the community within a 3 mile radius. Ms. Ferguson is a strong supporter of union wage jobs, building the Tacoma Tide flats, but the potential hazards far outweigh the advantages. There are clean energy jobs to fill that need. All money is not good money.   

In 2016, Ms. Ferguson was made aware of the damage the NAFTA trade deal has caused on jobs in America with special emphasis on jobs in Washington State. The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Trade deal (TPP)Congress was presenting was NAFTA on steroids. All of our basic needs would have been impacted to include medication and food said Ms. Ferguson. Ms. Ferguson protested this trade agreement across Western Washington and offered a training in person and via Facebook Live to educate the community. 

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. Ms. Ferguson is not accepting or going after large corporate donations where the companies negatively impact our state and nation. Ms. Ferguson was a Bernie delegate in 2016.

 

 


 

Below is a abbreviated outline of Jennifer Gigi Ferguson’s academic, professional and community affiliations.

Education:

  • 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:

  • 2017-Present Regional Representative Social Action, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
  • 2017-Present State Social Action Coordinator Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc
  • 2016-Present African Chamber of the Northwest
  • 2015-2016 Tacoma City Club
  • 2014-2018 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Tacoma Chapter
    • Social Action Chair
  • 2014-2016: Toastmasters – Asia Pacific Cultural Center
    • 2014-2015
      • Membership Chair  
    • 2015-2016
      • Treasurer      
  • 2013-2016: 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

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