James M. Ferguson, II, announces run for vacant seat on County Board of Supervisors

January 14, 2021

Staff Photo

James M. Ferguson, II, first became politically active several years ago after a 15-year-old student he had been counseling called him from jail.

“I knew he was not a criminal,” Ferguson said. “He had suffered a psychotic episode at school after being triggered by a teacher unaware. Teachers were not equipped to deal with mental health issues. He wound up at Lincoln Hills (the maximum security, state-run juvenile correctional facility for boys that was closed in 2018 after whistleblowers detailed numerous instances of abuse and mistreatment. Ferguson said he was one of those whistleblowers).

Now Ferguson is a candidate for the open 10th district seat on the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. The seat became open because Council member Supreme Moore Omokunde was elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature. The primary election is February 16, 2021.

Ferguson said he grew up in the 10th district and has lived and worked within it for most of his life. Spending nearly his entire life within the district has provided him with a unique perspective, he said.

Ferguson laid out three objectives he hopes to accomplish if elected: 1) to secure funding for a 24/7 mental health triage center featuring a psychiatric emergency room within the 10th district which would provide access within the community to mental health services on demand; 2) to create a “right to work” program which would provide training or employment vouchers to employers within the district who are willing to provide on-the-job training to low-skilled and chronically unemployed workers; and 3) bringing together various stakeholders within the 10th district, residents, police, employers and others to help create solutions to important quality of life issues.

“I’m a uniter,” Ferguson said. “I can bring people together to solve problems. I’ve done that throughout my career.”

Ferguson is a second-generation community servant, following in the footsteps of his late father, Johnnie Ferguson, Sr., who served as a community organizer in Milwaukee for 20-plus years. Ferguson began his own career working as a tutor at the Dr. Howard Fuller Education Foundation before moving to Career Youth Development, Inc., and then Westcare Wisconsin, Inc. Ferguson currently serves as President of the Center for Family Preservation, Corp. He is an alumnus of Marquette University law school and undergraduate program, a doctoral candidate at Life Christian University and has a Certification in Executive Leadership from Cornel University. He married his wife, Kara in June 2019.