Affordable health care, education, the economy and labor are among the key issues that alumnus George Miller has championed throughout his four decades in the U.S. Congress. Announcing this week that he plans to retire at the end of his term, the East Bay Democrat will focus much of his final year on raising the federal minimum wage.
Miller (B.A., Political Science, ’68) is the fifth most senior member of the House of Representatives and the senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee. First elected in 1975, he represents the 11th District of California in the East Bay, including the majority of Contra Costa County. Some of his most-known legislation includes the Affordable Health Care Act; No Child Left Behind; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; California Desert Protection Act; and Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
“George Miller has proudly represented the people of California in Congress for nearly 40 years, and he has spent his career fighting to grow and strengthen the middle class,” President Barack Obama says. “Because of his tireless efforts, our air and water are cleaner, our workers’ rights are better protected, more young people can afford to go to college and more working families can make ends meet.”
Miller’s last act may be raising the federal minimum wage. A bill he co-wrote would raise the wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over three years.
“I’m proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish on behalf of children and families, working people and the environment and I look forward to working in new venues on the issues that have inspired me,” says the 68-year-old Miller, a 1997 SF State Alumni Hall of Fame inductee.
Elected in 1974 at age 29 as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal were coming to a close, Miller collaborated on writing major laws over the years with other congressional leaders such as Ted Kennedy and John Boehner. Miller first ran for public office in 1969, campaigning for the California state Senate seat previously held by his late father, George Miller Jr.