Dr. Ferguson, what is your history of involvement in chiropractic the profession?
As a chiropractor, my father was a great healer in New York, and was an inspiration to our family. In addition to myself, two of my brothers and one brother-in-law are also chiropractors.
My childhood included filing patient cards in my dad's office. I was profoundly moved by patients who celebrated their release from pain and illness, without using drugs or surgery. Chiropractic was a very natural professional career choice for me.
My father was also very involved in the state chiropractic association, and my mother was secretary of the borough of Manhattan and co-chair of New York's Democratic Party for many years. I grew up seeing the appropriate and viable mix of health care and politics. As a member of the Oversight Committee for the Chiropractic Demonstration Project with the U.S. Department of Defense, and as chairman of the Executive Board of Directors with the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, I have learned this (the mix of health care and politics) first hand.
What made you decide to run for Congress?
Four years on the National College faculty put me in close contact with the great Joseph Janse. He was a mentor and an inspiration. His visionary insights are legendary, but the one that touched me was personal. He put his arm around my shoulders and said, "Dr. Peter, as chiropractors we will never be playing on a level field until we are present in national politics. And you are the one do it."
It has been a heavy responsibility to carry the mantle of his faith in me all this time. Announcing my candidacy begins to fulfill the promise I made to chiropractic years ago. I feel called by an undeniable duty to serve both our nation and its health care needs.
I am also honored to call Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown a good friend. He has been encouraging me for years to run for the House.
But the most important reason to run is the realization that, as a chiropractor in Congress, I can make a difference in people's lives. Our country is thirsty for the truth, particularly in health care. I believe we can bring both integrity and conviction to this office.
What issues concern you?
Many current issues are pivotal to our nation's future. While the public's undeniable right to make their own health care choices will always be the one closest to my heart, other key decisions are also on the table right now. To name just a few, we must revamp Social Security, protect our planet's environmental and human resources, and chart a clear path through explosive growth in technology.
We must act with integrity and vision to give our parents and our children the secure and hope-filled future they deserve. And chiropractic needs to be part of that process.
What role do you think chiropractic will have during and after the campaign?
My vision of service to this country is not limited to any one issue, but I do expect to have the opportunity to advance discussions about noninvasive health care options for all Americans. Obviously, the interests of the chiropractic profession will hold a prominent place in my heart.
I am unshakably committed to the power of the human body and spirit to marshal its own healing resources. As chiropractors, we facilitate our patients' ability to heal themselves. We don't heal them. In a parallel vein, government should facilitate the talents and abilities of communities to apply their own solutions to healing the problems of society.
There are also some very fine leaders within the chiropractic profession who have generously pledged their ideas, time, and support toward victory in 1998. Any ideas, insights, and support from my co-professionals in chiropractic are very welcome. Chiropractic will be a quiet but articulate force in shaping this campaign.
What types of support are you gathering?
The people of Ohio's 16th District are crossing old partisan lines to support a new vision of leadership. It is a particular pleasure for me to count key advocates among both major political parties. And the Democratic National Committee has been exceptionally supportive.
Why do you believe you can win?
I think people are ready for real change in politics. They are ready to embrace good ideas, regardless of the party who proposed them. And they are hungry to trust their representatives. I have tried to live my life in a way that makes me worthy of that trust.
I have the energy, conviction, and I think, the leadership ability to chart a course through gray and twisted chaos. The American people have the talent and ideas. We will all win if we can see differences as strengths and work as a team to carry us into the next chapter in our human story. We are the stewards of our future.
Thank you Dr. Ferguson. Good luck with your campaign. We will all be pulling for you.
If you would like to know more about Dr. Ferguson's campaign and how you can support a chiropractor in Congress, he can be reached at: Peter D. Ferguson, DC 3507 Cleveland Avenue, NW Canton, OH 44709 tel: (330) 493-7970; fax: (330) 493-1752
Contributions are needed to make this dream a reality. Please send your monetary support* to:
Peter D. Ferguson for Congress, Inc.
c/o Jerry Konchar, Treasurer
5186 Birkdale Street, NW
Canton, OH 44708
- Note: Election laws limit contributions to individual donations. No corporate gifts may be accepted.