Jennifer Gigi Ferguson's Story.
Ms. Jennifer Gigi Ferguson served as Assistant Mayor in Mainz, Germany. Jennifer received her Masters in Psychology and has worked and volunteered for the Department of Defense helping soldiers and families to restore family unity in Germany and Washington State. She has dedicated her time to not only serving as a pillar of her local community, but communities throughout the United States as well. Long before seeking political office, Jennifer worked hard for the people of Washington State, taking several issues to Washington D.C. She has gained much respect, making her stance clear to put People Before Politics thus becoming "The People's Politician. She's been a champion for reducing homelessness, improving women’s rights and veterans’ rights, and has fought for better wages, along with a variety of issues that impact the daily lives of the people. As an activist and volunteer, her record as a humanitarian speaks for itself, and is consistent and always expanding. She believes "before you can serve the people, you have to put in the groundwork to understand the issues."
Born in Chicago's South Side, the fourth of six children and the only girl, she lost her mother to cancer at an early age. Young Gigi was primarily raised by her father. Jennifer attended both public schools and Catholic schools, and her father was very active on the school board and heavily involved in Jennifer's education. The leadership roles and qualities in her father, paternal grandmother, great aunt, and her community were the strongest influences in shaping Young Gigi's commitment to community. It is from the influence of her early role models and her community that Jennifer was prompted to seek various leadership roles within organizations that give back. She has never wavered from this endeavor.
Jennifer held her first role of leadership as a young lady in her middle school years, moving on to her first official position as Secretary in her youth golf club. In high school she held various positions in student government. She was then selected by her peers, at an all state conference, to serve on a board created by the Governor. This position quickly shifted, and Jennifer was appointed by the Governor to manage a specialized program for an entire county. Jennifer served on the Illinois Youth Traffic Safety Council for 3 years. The Illinois Youth Traffic Safety Council afforded her the opportunity to work with the State Patrol, the School District, and many youths and adults in the community, and at the pleasure of the Governor's office.
While attending Austin Peay State University on a golf scholarship, Jennifer majored in Business Administration with a dual minor in Computer Science and Military Science. At the beginning of her Junior year, she met and married her husband, Charles Ferguson, and moved to Mainz, Germany. Jennifer pursued her education, attending the University of Maryland Europe to study Business Management.
As a military wife, Jennifer served as Assistant Mayor in Mainz, Germany, working with Army Command to be a liaison between the mayor and families and or between the military and families. She also worked for the Department of Defense. After much research, Jennifer created her own position. While focusing on military families’ needs upon relocation, she created a program that centered on family needs, including assistance with housing, day care, emergency relief, etc. After defining her position, she became Hand Receipt Holder (Supply Clerk) for more than a million dollars worth of supplies, working with Army Command. Her responsibilities included accounting for, controlling and safeguarding government property. Jennifer actively served her country as an active wife in each unit her husband served, volunteering with soldiers and families, and learning the importance of well-rounded support for our military families.
Jennifer and Charles have been residents of Washington State for over 35 years. While raising children and being a military wife, GiGi became active in the community serving on University Place PTA, and as a volunteer with Army Community Services and The American Red Cross. She served on the Ten Year Educational Review Board of the University Place School District, twice. She served as president of the University Place Soccer Association; became a Pierce County Citizen's Academy Graduate and Small Business Owner in University Place, Lakewood Mall, and at that time the Sheraton Hotel now known as the Murano. Together Jennifer and Charles have three grown sons, one having served in Iraq and one currently serving in the U.S. Army.
After raising three sons and understanding the value of education, Jennifer followed her passions and returned to school. It was at Tacoma Community College (T.C.C.) where Jennifer obtained certifications in Case Management, Human Services and Chemical Dependency.
Later Jennifer moved on to attend Evergreen State College (Tacoma Campus) and graduated with a Liberal Arts Degree. While Jennifer attended Tacoma Community College, she continued to volunteer in the community with the Washington State Department of Children's Services, transporting children and supervising parental visits. Jennifer began her internship working with youth at El Camino outpatient chemical dependency program in Pierce County and with inpatient juveniles in detention at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center in Tacoma. After graduation, Jennifer stayed with El Camino while receiving her BA and into her MA program.
After passing her state boards for Chemical Dependency, she began her matriculation at Chapman University on JBLM, obtaining a Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family. Jennifer completed her college internship at Madigan Army Medical Center. It was only required for Jennifer to complete ten hours a week for three quarters, but she saw the overwhelming need for patient care at Madigan. She dedicated herself, volunteering more than 2,200 hours in less than 13 months. She worked in the Intensive Outpatient Program with patients that had a multiplicity of mental health issues, including Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. After leaving Madigan, Jennifer began her state internship as a Family Preservation Therapist, Family Therapist, Parenting Coach, writing Mental Health Assessments, Parenting Assessments and various other therapeutic positions working with families involved with the Department of Children's Services before starting her non-profit continuing the same work.
Fully supportive and passionate about soldiers, veterans and family members, she works closely with veterans, employers and resources, to ensure they get the services they need to have a productive life. When Jennifer saw the struggles of female veterans, she worked tirelessly to ensure female veterans and their families had support as well. In her work, Jennifer has been a champion on the forefront of battles to improve our Veterans Administration and VA Health System, working to ensure that our veterans and families get the physical and mental healthcare they so desperately need. America can no longer enter wars for profit.
In 2012, 2014, and 2016 Jennifer ran for Congress. When she came up short and didn't win the seat, Jennifer carried that with dignity, and remained consistent in her growth to better understand the needs of her district and politics. She has not stopped her work to ensure the people’s voices are heard, and continues to be inspired. Jennifer is listening to her community, the 10th Congressional District, Washington State and America where issues are becoming more apparent than ever; the people are lacking representation. Jennifer is bringing fresh ideas and new solutions to the table. Ideas she has acquired while working with her sorority, Faith Action Network, Washington State Housing Alliance, Shared Hope International, various veterans programs and much more. She has seen, listened, and heard the cries of the people. After the 2016 Primary election Jennifer was informed she was to be a write in candidate for a group of Berniecrats across Washington State to run as a write in candidate for U.S. Senator. After prayer and consultation with husband and pastor she accepted the task.
Jennifer has learned the dire need for someone to step in and replace a Senator who has done a lot of great work over her term in office but has become a part of the problem (oligarchy and corporations) and not the solution which is putting people before politics, constituents before corporations. This is evident with pushing for the Trans Pacific Partnership Corporate Trade Agreement or TPP Fast Track and keeping quiet while the U.S broke the treaty between the United States and the North Dakota Native American tribes enacted in the 1800's. This has become a national travesty between our country, corporations, Native Americans, Americans and the safety of Americans. Our safety hinges on oil pipe lines that may explode or leak into a major river or onto Native land.
America sends soldiers to war for profit then, those same soldiers have to fight to get mental health, physical health, and finances to live a lower quality of life. It is time for change! Jennifer has been on the front line marching, rallying, serving to help our voices be heard. Jennifer is not waiting for election time or the poll results before putting many of those fresh ideas into action to better our communities. She has taken many issues to Washington, D.C., including advocating for the Violence Against Women's Act and The Voting Rights Act in 2012, pay equity and other women's issues. Jennifer has advocated for against No Child Left Behind, and working to support initiatives to reduce homelessness. After volunteering for a Jimmy Carter International build in Benton Harbor, MI Jennifer returned to Tacoma and slowly worked her way into building in Pierce County as a individual and with her sorority helping Habitat for Humanity. Jennifer has assisted in Habitat builds in Tillicum, Parkland, Salishan, and other areas on the East Side of Tacoma to help build homes for families, disabled families, veterans and their families. Jennifer has also had the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity as her vacation spot in various areas to include New Orleans twice after Hurricane Katrina to help rebuild homes. In 2016, Jennifer celebrated her birthday with a Birthday build for Habitat where all proceeds went to Habitat.
The fall of 2015, Jennifer worked with her sorority as Social Action Chair of The Tacoma Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,Inc and Pacific Lutheran University Admissions, Veterans Program to hold the 2nd Annual Resource Fair & Summit. The Summit’s mission in 2015 was to connect female veterans and spouses of veterans who have served in War zones to much needed services to include housing assistance, mental and physical health, and other necessary services.Jennifer strongly believes veterans and their families need to know that America stands with them and behind them. Jennifer also believes there is a direct correlation between the lack of low income housing availability and mental health issues not being addressed within our community of civilians and veterans.
Jennifer puts in the groundwork by volunteering to strengthen the heart of her community. In 2014, she volunteered with the Human Services Commission, Basic Needs Program, for the City of Tacoma. There were more than four million active requests, with only two million in resources available to distribute. Jennifer understands more than ever the need for homeless shelters, food for food banks, school back pack programs, summer lunches, domestic violence shelters and real low income housing which is why Jennifer has done advocacy work with Washington Housing Alliance. Instead of increasing funding for these programs, our current administration has cut funding. This is unacceptable.
With passion for people and our communities, Jennifer decided to run for the U. S. Senate where she feels strongly about her ability to take the reality of life into the chambers of DC. Her twenty plus years serving on boards, having an MA in psychology where she has used it in multiple venues to make tough decisions after asking questions in various manners to get to the truth Jennifer is well prepared for a seat in the US Senate. Jennifer has the capacity to ask the hard questions, push for the truth, dig for information, and cross party lines for real discussions about real issues people are facing today. She couldn't be happier to use her education and experience to serve the people of Washington State and America.
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