Tracy’s sense of civic duty led him to join the United States Army shortly after graduating from high school. His permanent party duty station was the 101st Airborne Division Fort Campbell, KY. Tracy was assigned to the 5th of the 101st Aviation Unit, where he was a Petroleum Supply Specialist and served 3 years active duty from 1986-1989.
While on active duty, being deployed to Davis Airfield, Oklahoma and Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, the Secretary of the Army awarded Tracy the Army Achievement Medal. This honor was awarded to Private First-Class Tracy Jennings for his ability to motivate and lead within the 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment of the United States Army.
Upon leaving active military duty, Tracy transitioned into the corporate sector. There, Tracy was extremely successful, working his way through two Fortune 500 companies into middle management. Over his 13-year career in the telecommunication industry, he was a two-time recipient of Tellabs Manager of The Year Award and credited with reviving a failing cable television system in the western suburbs of Chicago when he worked for Telecommunication Incorporated.
Passionate about being a self-starter and innovator, Tracy took a leap of faith. In 2003, he left a lucrative corporate organization and started his own real estate appraisal company, specializing in single-family dwellings and multi-unit buildings. Between 2003-2009, he appraised thousands of residential properties in Northern Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Tracy’s knowledge and ability to identify key factors that determine property value will not only help communities maximize the full potential of their properties but help enhance the quality of living within their communities.
Man of Faith
Tracy credits his success and who he is as a person to many things. However, he recognizes that he would not be where he is or who he is without being a man of great spiritual faith. Tracy was ordained as a minister in 2001. In 2003, he became the founding Pastor of Total Christian Life Ministry, a non-denominational, Christian faith-based church located in Joliet, Illinois. In addition, Tracy greatly credits his father, the late Pastor U.T. Jennings who was also a founding Pastor, for guiding his early spiritual life and setting a first-class example of what a true servant leader should be.
Upon the purchase of their church building in the Fall of 2008, Tracy took a thorough assessment of the overall condition of the community and found it lacking in many essential services. Shortly thereafter, Tracy spoke to the Township Supervisor about the lack of services in the church’s immediate area. After months of meetings, it was determined by township officials that this particular area had always been that way and nothing would be changed.
A firm believer that even one person can make a difference, Tracy led a protest against Joliet Township in the Spring of 2009. The theme was “Equal Treatment for All in Joliet Township.” The protest was a resounding success!
Some example of changes put in place were:
- 22 stop signs being installed
- five uninhabitable homes demolished
- eight street signs installed
- approval of the bi-annual road stripping on Patterson Road
- illegal signs on residential properties removed
- landscaping for one of the oldest cemeteries in the Joliet area, the Zarley Cemetery.
In addition, Tracy has conducted other community projects in Westchester and various parts of the Illinois 7th Congressional District.
Tracy is a man of action and will continue to challenge the status quo to help enhance the lives of those around him.
Tracy submitted his candidacy to serve as Congressman of the Illinois 7th Congressional District in January 2019. He and his team ran a great campaign, overcoming obstacles that came about due to COVID-19 and running as an Independent candidate.
While the election results may not have turned out in his favor, Tracy and his team were happy to have made an impact, by hosting various conversations throughout the district, cleaning up parks, and supporting businesses that were struggling through the height of the pandemic.
Statistically, Tracy received well over 19,000 votes, the most EVER by an Independent candidate. He was also able to raise more than $20,000 in campaign funds without the assistance of political action committees. All of this was done with six people and roughly 20 total volunteers.
Tracy’s experience running a campaign and understanding the needs of the Illinois 7th Congressional District will be a value-add to the Village of Westchester. He has connections to resources that can and will take this town to the next level.
Working with the State
After taking a brief pause working for the state during his Congressional run, Tracy has returned to the state office serving as a Senior Public Administrator for the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division. From 2013 to present day, Tracy has worked diligently to get to where he is with the State of Illinois and has held the title of a PSA in three state agencies: The Department of Human Services, The Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, and The Department of Employment Security.
In the Department of Human Services, his staff aided clients through their application process for public assistance programs. While serving in the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, he was responsible for maintaining 52 service providers contracts with the State of Illinois that had an annual value of 500 million dollars. Tracy’s last assignment was with the Department of Employment Security. As the Local Office Manager for the largest call center in the State of Illinois, he was responsible for a staff of 84 union state employees who assisted claimants with filing for unemployment benefits.