George Miller

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George Miller
George Miller

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George Miller is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 7th district of California.

Congressman Miller is the Senior Democrat of the House Education and Workforce Committee and chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, a leadership position. He is a leading advocate in Congress on education, labor, the economy, and the environment.

Miller has represented the 7th District of California in the East Bay of San Francisco since 1975. His district includes portions of Contra Costa and Solano counties, including Richmond, Concord, Martinez, Pittsburg, Benicia, Vallejo and Vacaville. He is a life-long Democrat and Californian.

George Miller is a member of the Democratic Leadership, serving at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s direction as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee. In that role he helps Democrats develop and articulate a wide range of policies to benefit all Americans. His priorities in the 112th Congress are to continue to create jobs and grow the economy, reauthorize the federal k-12 education law, and ensure that the historic health care reform law that he co-wrote is fully implemented.

He has served on the Education and Workforce Committee since first coming to Congress and was its chairman from 2007 through 2010. From 1991 to 1994 George chaired the House Natural Resources Committee, one of the primary committees overseeing the environment, energy and public lands, and served as the committee’s Senior Democrat until 2000.[1]

Background

George Miller was born in Richmond, CA, on May 17, 1945 and lives in Martinez. He graduated from Diablo Valley Community College, San Francisco State University, and earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis, Law School. He served on the staff of then-State Senate Majority Leader George Moscone in Sacramento. He is married to Cynthia Caccavo Miller, a life-long resident of Contra Costa County. They have two sons, George and Stephen.[2]

Environment law

George Miller is an expert and leader in Congress on California water issues and national environmental policy. In 1992, he passed and enacted into law under Republican President George H. W. Bush, the California water reform law known as the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. He also co-authored with Senator Dianne Feinstein the 1994 California Desert Protection Act. [3]

Education

BA California State University - San Francisco, 1968; JD University of California - Davis, 1972

IPS connections

IPS 20th Anniversary Committee

According to Information Digest[4]the Institute for Policy Studies celebrated its 20th anniversary with an April 5, 1983, reception at the National Building Museum attended by approximately 1,000 IPS staffers and former staff.

The Congressional IPS comittee members included Les Aspin {D. WI}, George Brown, Jr. (D.CA), Philip Burton (D.CA), George Crockett (D-MI}, Ron Dellums (D.CA}, former Texas Congressman Robert Eckhardt, Don Edwards {D.CA}, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Tom Harkin {D-IA}, Robert Kastenmeier (D. WI}, Chairman of the Subcomittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, George Miller (D-CA}, Richard Ottinger {D-NY}, Leon Panetta (D-CA}, Henry Reuss (D.WI}, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, Patricia Schroeder {D.CO}, John Seiberling (D.OH} and Ted Weiss {D.NY}.

IPS staffer

Congressman Miller, for many years had an Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow, Cynthia Arnson, as his legislative aide doing most of the leg-work and research on Latin American policy[5]

The Washington School

The Washington School, founded by the Institute for Policy Studies, in 1978, was an important means of influencing Congress and the Democratic Party. Courses on defense, foreign affairs, and domestic policies are taught there by IPS officers and staffers, and other American or foreign radical "experts." A large number of members of Congress and staffers have attended these schools. Several legislators have also taught there, including the following:[6]

NEXT AGENDA Conference

NEXT AGENDA was held at the National Press Club, Main Ballroom, Feb. 28,2001.

At Feb. 28 Conference on NEXT AGENDA, progressive activists, Congressional leaders will unite to forge strategy for "working families" agenda -- the day after President Bush delivers his plans to joint session of Congress.
-- Calling themselves the real "democratic majority," organizers and thinkers, led by the Campaign for America's Future, to release new book outlining an agenda for changes they insist most voters endorsed in 2000 elections.
On Feb. 28, a national conference on the NEXT AGENDA, will bring together progressive activists, intellectuals and allies in the Congress for the first time since the disputed election and battles over President Bush's cabinet nominees. It will frame the next two year's debate.
Sponsored by the progressive advocacy group, the Campaign for America's Future and its sister research organization, the Institute for America's Future, the Conference on the Next Progressive Agenda has been endorsed by a who's who of prominent leaders from the labor unions, women's organizations, civil rights groups, environmentalists and individual members of the House and Senate. Their goal: to forge a progressive movement to fight for the "working family" agenda they insist was endorsed by a majority of the voters in the 2000 election.

Organizers of the conference would release a new book, THE NEXT AGENDA: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement, edited by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey and published by Westview Press.

3:45 - 5:00 Bold Initiatives

Chair: Roger Hickey

Take Back America Conferences

George Miller was on the list of 153 speakers at the 2006 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[8]

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First

George Miller is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".[9]

Saul Landau Friendship

Miller and landau, in Miller's Congressional office
Miller and landau, in Miller's Congressional office

George Miller was a long time personal friend of the late pro-Cuban Institute for Policy Studies activist Saul Landau.[10]

According to Edith Bell of Pittsburgh;

My fond memories are of a very young Saul, an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, long before he became a well-known author and filmmaker. End of summer 1955 my husband Sid Bell and I were standing on University Ave. in Madison, Wis., map and "for rent" classified section of the Capitol Times in hand. A young man approached us "looking for an apartment?", he said. He gave us an address, and after looking at several advertised places, we encountered him again. "Been to my place yet?" So we had a look at Saul's place, where his wife Nina was taking care of baby Greg, just a few weeks old. They explained to us that they were moving back to New York City. We liked the place and rented it. A year later Saul and Nina came back and moved into the apartment below us.
After Saul got his MA , he soon went with C.Wright Mills to Cuba which appears to have gotten him hooked.
We kept in touch on and off through the years. He visited us, when we lived in West Virginia, bringing newly elected Congressman George Miller with him. [11]

On Landau, Chile

Mr. Landau helped investigate human rights abuses in Chile for Rep. Miller in the 1970s.

“In a show of his persistence and tenacity,” Miller said in a statement, “he helped bring Augusto Pinochet to justice more than 30 years later.”[12]

Because Landau had deep ties in Chile, in 1975 he arranged a trip to the country for U.S. congressmen Tom Harkin, Toby Moffett and George Miller, who were looking into human rights violations under the Pinochet regime. Landau and Miller would become close friends.

"He was a wonderful friend and wonderful adviser and a great person to bounce some things off," said Miller (D-Martinez).

Miller visited with Landau days before his death, and found the filmmaker was still able to trot out his wry sense of humor.

"I said, 'Saul, you know, what do you think if we end up going to war in Syria?' " Miller recalled. "And he just said, 'It has been such a long time since we had a war, it may be good.' "[13]

On Landau, Cuba

"His films on Cuba were groundbreaking when they were made," said Rep. Miller, "When Saul was riding out on that point he was very unpopular, with death threats. It took 30 years for American public opinion to catch up with him, but that's the way it was with Saul. He rode out on the point all the time. Criticism and death threats were not going to deter him."[14]

Tribute in Congressional Record

Miller paced a tribute to Landau in the Congressional Record, October 10, 2013,

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a dear friend who spent his life trying to educate people about America's role in the world in an effort to make that world a better place.
Saul Landau passed away last month at the age of 77 after battling cancer for almost 2 years.

Saul was not only a very close friend of mine and my wife Cynthia's. He was a constant mentor, educator, and agitator. He was one of the smartest and hardest working people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and he was one of the funniest.

To Saul's family, I extend my sincere condolences for their loss. But I offer to them as well a deep appreciation from the halls of Congress of the work and thought that Saul Landau contributed to our public debate.

I will miss my friend.

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. Miller .[15]

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed George Miller, California 7, in that year's Congressional elections.[16]

Martinez Jobs Bill

In June 1997 George Miller of California and Nita Lowey of New York signed on as co-sponsors of the Communist Party USA inspired Martinez Jobs Bill.[17]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

George Miller was a founding member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In 1998, Miller was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[18]

As of February 20, 2009, Miller was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[19]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported George Miller in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for California.[20]

Staffer's 2000 trip to Cuba

In February 2000, David Madland from the office of Congressman George Miller spent six days in Havana, Cuba, as part of a delegation of Congressional staffers. The trip cost $1,778.47 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.[21]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[22]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

Introduced EFCA

EFCA was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. George Miller (D-California) and Peter King (R-New York) and in the Senate by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) in April 2005. [23]

Donations

Miller donated $250 to the Secretary of State Project in 2008.

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 Miller was endorsed by JStreet PAC.[24]

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. George Miller was one of the signatories of the letter. [25] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Obama"truth squad"

Barack Obama’s campaign in California formed a “truth squad,” announced via conference call, in January 2008, to counter the attacks that Hillary Clinton’s campaign has leveled in recent weeks. On the call were squad members Bay Area Congressman George Miller, LA Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Oakland Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and LA County Labor Federation chief Maria Elena Durazo, now a national co-chair of the Obama campaign. Also on the squad are Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, LA Congressman Adam Schiff, state Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass, and, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Miller, one of the top congressional Democrats as head of the House Democratic Policy Committee and chairman of the Education & Labor Committee, noted that the truth squad was formed to deal with a threat that may or may not exist any longer. “We don’t know yet,” he said. “The Clinton campaign may have learned its lesson from South Carolina,” where voters mostly rejected the Clinton tactics, as exit polls make clear. Will former President Clinton, historically popular in California, be a problem for Obama in the nation’s largest primary? “I think there is a rethink underway about what he is doing.”[26]

The Obama Agenda

In the 111th Congress, George Miller helped craft President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Miller was one of the three committee chairmen who wrote and passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, to "deliver the fundamental health reforms that Americans want by slowing the growth in out-of-control health costs, introducing competition into the health care marketplace to keep coverage affordable and insurers honest, protecting people’s choices of doctors and health plans, and assuring that all have Americans access to quality, stable, affordable health care. The health care law also reduces the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over ten years."

George Miller also worked with President Obama to transform the federal student loan programs to ensure they work in the best interest of students, not big banks.

By eliminating the banking middleman and wasteful subsidies paid to banks, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2010 saves $60 billion in taxpayer money and invests that money in students and college completion. And the law does all this without increasing the deficit, in fact the law reduces the deficit over next ten years. The law raised the Pell Grant scholarship to its highest level in history, decreased interest rates on need-based student loans and invested in communities college and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Under his leadership in the 111th and 110th Congress, the Education and Labor Committee shepherded 14 bills that were signed into law and dozens of others that passed the House. In fact, according the historian of the House, in the 110th and 111th Congresses, the Education and Labor Committee was the most productive committee in the history of the House of Representatives.

Following President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, the first bill he signed into law was written by George Miller and passed out of the Education and Labor Committee. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act overturned a Supreme Court ruling that restricted a woman’s right to challenge her employer on the basis on pay discrimination.

In response to President Obama’s call to action, George Miller passed out of his committee in March of 2009 the GIVE Act, now called the Sen. Edward M. Kennedy Service Act, to expand national service opportunities. The President signed this bill into law on April 21, 2009.[27]

Phillip Burton Awards Committee

In 2013, the Honorary Phillip Burton Awards Committee, of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, consisted of;

  • Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender
  • The Honorable David Campos, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • Carmen Chu, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder
  • The Honorable Malia Cohen, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Anna Eshoo, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Mark Farrell, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, US Senator for California
  • The Honorable Barbara Lee, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Eric Mar, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable George Miller, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the US House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Jackie Speier, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Katy Tang, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Scott Wiener, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Norman Yee, San Francisco Board of Supervisors[28]

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Congressional endorsers of the proposal included George Miller.[29]

Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections

On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.

The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.

“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.

Signatories included Rep. George Miller .[30].

Housemates

Miller owns a residence in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. and rents rooms to other members of the U.S. House and Senate. As of April 2010, his tenant housemates are Senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin and Representative Bill Delahunt. Miller purchased the residence in 1977, and his past housemates have included former Representatives Marty Russo, Leon Panetta and Sam Gejdenson.

Staff

The following have worked as staff for George Miller either as past or present:[31]

External links

References

  1. http://congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgeorgemiller.house.gov, official congressional bio, accessed August 1, 2011]
  2. http://congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgeorgemiller.house.gov, official congressional bio, accessed August 1, 2011]
  3. http://congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgeorgemiller.house.gov, official congressional bio, accessed August 1, 2011]
  4. Information Digest April l5, 1983 p77-79
  5. Communists in the Democratic party, page 71
  6. Communists in the Democratic party, page 73
  7. Common Dreams, Morning After Bush's Speech, Progressive Activists to Unite Feb. 28 for Conference on 'Working Family' Agenda, WASHINGTON - February 26 - News Advisory
  8. Take Back America 2006 - Agenda & Speakers (accessed on May 14, 2010)
  9. [ http://www.foodfirst.org/es/about/staff, Food First staff page]
  10. IPS Flickr page, Rep. George Miller and Saul Landau
  11. IPS website, The Institute for Policy Studies Mourns the Loss of Filmmaker and Author Saul Landau September 10, 2013, comments thread
  12. WaPo Activist and filmmaker Saul Landau dies at 77, By Matt Schudel,September 10, 2013
  13. LA Times, 'Fidel' filmmaker Saul Landau dies at 77 September 11, 2013|By Daniel Miller
  14. SFGate, Saul Landau - documentary filmmaker - dies, Sam Whiting, September 11, 2013
  15. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  16. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  17. PWW, June 28, 1997, page 2
  18. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  19. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  20. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  21. American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  22. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  23. GDDSA newsletter archives, 2007
  24. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  25. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  26. Bill Bradley's New West Notes, January 27th, 2008
  27. http://congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fgeorgemiller.house.gov, official congressional bio, accessed August 1, 2011]
  28. Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 23rd Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards
  29. Momentum Builds for Honoring Legendary Organizer Fred Ross, by Randy Shaw, 2013-03-05
  30. CISPES press release, Press Statement: 51 Members of Congress Call for US Neutrality in Salvadoran Elections December 16, 2013
  31. http://www.legistorm.com/member/381/Rep_George_Miller_CA.html. Accessed 30/11/02011
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