2015 Don Edwards
George Miller has been a lifelong public servant. A Bay Area native and son of a state senator, he graduated from San Francisco State University and then received his JD from UC Davis. In 1974, in the wake of Watergate, he ran for the United States House of Representatives on a platform of transparency. He won with 56% of the vote – the first of 19 such victories.
During his 40 years in Washington, Representative Miller gained a reputation as one of the most liberal members of the House of Representatives. Miller was a champion of environmental issues as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, serving as its chair from 1991 to 1994. He was instrumental in the creation of Death Valley National Park and Joshua Tree National Park, and worked to protect wildlife in the California Delta.
As a member of the Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. Miller was an author of No Child Left Behind. He fought against cuts to student aid as well as in favor of expanding federal student loans. He introduced a bill to ban corporal punishment in schools, and advocated increased access to educational opportunities for children with disabilities. He was also a leader on labor issues. He was instrumental in the passage in 2007 of the most recent increase in the federal minimum wage, from $5.15 to $7.25, and has been a tireless advocate in the fight to protect collective bargaining rights.
Despite his liberal reputation, Miller is known for his amiable nature and his willingness to work across the aisle. After Miller announced that he would be retiring in 2015, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “No one would confuse me and George Miller for ideological soul mates. But during our years serving together ... we got things done on behalf of the American people thanks in no small part to his dedication and willingness to work for the greater good."
Rep. Miller currently resides in Martinez.
Click here to see the 2015 Don Edwards Lecture.
Date: November 19th 2015, 7:00pm
Location: New Student Union Theater, San José State Campus