Candidate Series Part Seven: Chris Miller
Chris Miller announced in March that he would be running against Representative Ed Brooks for Wisconsin’s 50th State Assembly District seat. Miller is a retired pastor and has spent 35 years in the ministry. He recently retired from the Loganville ELCA Lutheran Church and is presently living in La Valle. Miller said he’s is running for the seat because he has seen how recent policies have affected the constituents in the district.
“These policies have adversely affected my friends, my church members, and my community. Given my age, my experience, and my passion, I decided that it was possible to bring my help and service.”
This is Miller’s first run for a public office. Miller knows he doesn’t have all of the answers, so if elected, he says he will spend some time getting to know the ropes. “I am running as an outsider, and I have a lot to learn, but I have learned what it is that we need. Good ideas are good ideas whoever comes up with them and I will try to contribute to the conversation and the writing of bills that will positively affect people.” Miller says he wants to especially look at education, local economies, and protecting the environment.
With education, Miller says public school are facing a continuing lack of funding and the funds will continue to decrease as they are redirected. “I think the first thing to do would be to close the revenue gaps, and secondly, not expand on the voucher school program. Then we will be able to pay our teachers, keep our schools open. We don’t want more consolidation because schools are the backgrounds of our small towns.” Miller thinks the government has imposed many restraints on school districts by taking away public funds and giving them to voucher schools, charter schools, and parochial schools. “The constitution of our state mandates public education for our children and we need to reaffirm our commitment to our kids and our community.”
With job creation, Miller believes the government has an active role. He believes it needs to promote an economic environment where there are going to be small businesses starting and corporations being brought into the state. However, he wants a “responsible job creation.” “This means companies come in and have regulations, that they will provide living wages to those people who are working for them.” Miller also thinks that there needs to be regulations to protect the environment. “I don’t want our lives to be miserable because we made the groundwater toxic, the air unbreathable. You don’t get a second chance on somethings and the environment is one of them.” Miller says there can be a thing of over regulating and that companies have a responsibility to their stockholders, but they do have an ethical responsibility to their workers and the environment.
In terms of healthcare, Miller said he supports the Affordable Care Act because the old system was failing too many people. “I think this was long in coming, and I am greatly appreciative that something has been done to help more people with pre-existing conditions.” However, Miller said that the act had people influenced by outside forces and not necessarily by what is best for the consumer. “It’s a great step in the right direction, but it does need to be refined.” Miller also believes that Wisconsin took a passive role when it came to people signing up for the exchanges. “Wisconsin pride for so long was ‘We stand alone, we are head and shoulders over our neighboring states’ and now we are 9 out of 10 Midwestern states in so many categories, and that’s not anything to be proud of, especially with healthcare.”
When asked about his opponent, Ed Brooks, Miller says that he doesn’t think that the people of the 50th District have been represented properly by him. “I know it’s difficult to stand up for unpopular purposes and causes. However, if I thought Ed had represented us properly, I wouldn’t have retired and ran against him.”
WRJC will be interviewing Brooks later this month.
WRJC is doing a previewing series for candidates for upcoming elections. This is the seventh of many candidate profiles.
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