When looking at many politicians, you tend to see the same characteristics over and over. Nice suit, fancy red or blue neck tie, expensive haircut and even that ever-loving fake smile most give when they do not want to answer a certain question.
But these characteristics don’t match Steven Ferguson.
“It was one of those things that kind of fell hand-in-hand. I never wanted to be a veterinarian; I never wanted to be anything else. Politics is my thing, it’s my passion, and it’s what I love.”
Ferguson was born and raised in Burbank and attends GCC as a part-time student.
The former GCC student body president was brought up in a middle-class neighborhood where at a young age he became interested in the world of politics after watching C-SPAN, and more notably after keeping a close eye at the 2000 presidential election.
Although Ferguson is only 20, he has already begun to pursue his dream by running for Burbank City Council earlier this year.
“Steven is a very driven individual who knows what he wants,” said newly elected ASGCC president and student trustee Ovsanna Khachikian.
Ferguson said he decided to step down from his positions as the ASGCC student body president and the student trustee on the college’s board of trustees in order to concentrate on the election.
“If you ever even stepped into a campaign you realize how much work it is and it was something I wanted to give 110 percent and I did.” said Ferguson, “I didn’t win but I think for a 19-year-old [at the time] to get 1,000 votes out of 10,000 votes cast, I think, is incredible.but you know I think I set the bar and will continue to work towards that over the next few years.”
Even though he did not win the city council seat, Ferguson is still very passionate about being involved in politics.
“There are several aspects to politics that even if you don’t win an election, you’re still involved in it. You’re still involved in influencing government to help people,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson serves as a member of the Park, Recreation, and Community Services Board; as a liaison member to the Burbank Art in Public Places Committee; and on the Burbank Child Care Committee.
In a normal week, he attends five meetings in and still has to focus on his education.
So why would a student with so much on his plate want to run for Burbank City Council?
Ferguson believed that he could “provide a new youthful perspective and voice” to the government of Burbank.
He had his own views on issues in that were affecting his community, but also wanted to make Burbank a sustainable city by “bringing jobs and technology. and make a city that can live off its revenue by making programs that do the job within the city’s financial constraints.”
Not only did Ferguson have the time to be involved in serving his community at home, he also participated in the 2008 Democratic National Convention as a 29th District delegate seat after winning an election.
“It was a very eye-opening experience in sense that you get to really see what politics is like at a national level,” said Ferguson. “Not many people get to do that in their entire life. I got to do it when I was 19.”
Ferguson stood a mere 20 feet away from Barack Obama, who was giving his acceptance speech as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.
Not only did Ferguson have the opportunity to see so many famous leaders in the same room, he got to be a part of history by casting his vote and contributing to the Democratic Party’s success in the presidential election.
“I didn’t realize how competitive it would be until I got there,” said Ferguson.
While it was a great opportunity, Ferguson does not wish to run again for a delegate seat because he feels that others should be able to have the experience.
Ferguson will, however, remain in focus to follow his dream of being the politician he has always wanted to be.
“Eight years I have been involved and I have a lot to do before I kick the bucket,” said Ferguson when asked about his plans for the future. “A life-long dream of mine is to walk into the Senate or House chambers and say ‘hey look, I’m a member of this body’ and that’s something that I’m going to be working towards the rest of my life.”
It is, of course, a goal that many may have, but few will actually fulfill in their lives.
“Steven is one of the few individuals who can visualize a goal and make it happen,” said ASGCC vice president of finance Marian Mikhail, “I am confident he will make his passion and goals a reality.”
For this C-SPAN-watching movie-loving Glendale student, it may seem as if he has already experienced quite a bit when it comes down to the political game, but he’s only just begun.