Kathy Miller and her husband, Karl, have been married 36 years and together raised three children, all graduates of Lincoln High School and public universities. A true partnership, Kathy and Karl were both raised in blue-collar, union families – Carpenters and Plumber/Pipefitters – have been employed since their teens and instilled these same values in their children. Karl is the first in his family to attend college and earned his degree through classes at Idaho State during the day and driving a forklift in a potato warehouse by night. Kathy began working full-time the Monday after her high school graduation and attended Bellevue Junior College as a mother of three, after working to put her husband through graduate school.
As the daughter of a Marine veteran, public service and leadership were also ingrained in Kathy from her earliest years. As a Girl Scout of many years, she rose to Patrol Leader and participated in many service projects. Being a full-time mom for some years allowed her to serve as a Den Mother for both her boys, a school Art Docent, Little League and Soccer Team Mom. As her children grew, Kathy devoted herself to establishing a weekly community supper for low-income families, cooking for 50-100 individuals, weekly, for more than three years. She was a member of the founding team of First Night Stockton, helping to organize the event for its eight-year run and eventually serving as its Board President.
Kathy and her family moved to Stockton in 1997, and Kathy established a small, interior design firm, specializing in home remodeling. Karl managed the commercial banking division of Union Safe Deposit Bank, a long-standing, family-owned community bank. Working closely with local businesses – large and small – to help them grow and succeed, gave the Millers a deep understanding of the history, the people and the strength of Stockton. Many of the business owners and their staff became close friends and are now supporters of Kathy.
In 2004, Kathy became the Executive Director of the Downtown Stockton Alliance and for almost five years served as the face and voice for downtown revitalization. Under her leadership significant partnerships and collaborations were developed, leading to double-digit reductions in downtown crime, investment in state-of-the-industry equipment and environmental Best Practices for downtown cleanliness and production of events, including the Farmer’s Market, Art Walk and Concerts in the Square, that brought thousands of people downtown every week.
Since her election to the City Council in 2008, Kathy has continued her habits of hard work and leadership. She served as Vice Mayor (2009-2012) and represented Stockton residents on the Budget & Finance Committee and as Chair of the Audit and Housing Committees. Kathy has developed strong working relationships with elected officials throughout the County, from her assignments on SJ Council of Governments, SJC Regional Rail Commission and the Stockton Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Kathy has a deep commitment to education and literacy and served for years on the board of the Library & Literacy Foundation and on Stockton/School District 2 x 2 committees for the Lincoln and Lodi Unified School Districts.
As Chair of the Council Water Committee, Kathy has been the point person on water issues, serving on the Northeastern SJC Ground Water Banking Authority and SJC Flood Control Agency. She currently represents regional interests as San Joaquin County’s representative on the Delta Protection Commission and has passionately advocated for preserving regional water rights and restoring our precious resource, the San Joaquin Delta, as the Chair of the countywide Delta Coalition and statewide as the Second Vice President of the League of California Cities.
As a San Joaquin County Supervisor, Kathy’s top policy priorities will be:
- Public Safety – ensuring that sufficient funding to safely and successfully implement AB109/Realignment is provided and current policies of providing services in a progressive and more cost-efficient manner are continued.
- Grow our Economy – protecting our water supply and providing effective flood control are critical to agriculture, the largest segment of our county economy, as well as to business, industry and residents. Current policies to concentrate development in existing urban areas must continue to prevent excessive conversion of agricultural land.
- Maintain Strong Fiscal Health – continuing careful oversight of the county budget to enable re-funding of capital projects, set aside in the Great Recession. These projects will bring high-quality, family-wage jobs to our region and are critical for our long-term economic vitality. The impacts of Health Care Reform must be monitored closely to reduce negative impacts on our County Hospital and strengthen recent improvements in its operations.
Achieving regional goals depends on respectful collaboration and honesty between partners. Kathy believes in open and transparent government, the need for elected officials to be accessible and the responsibility of government to provide services fairly and equitably to all residents. Kathy has been a full-time city councilmember, despite part-time compensation, giving up her salary, health care and retirement benefits, to serve the community. She provides her personal phone number to constituents and has always been willing to meet at a place and time convenient to those she serves. Kathy has taken positions for the good of the city, despite being painful and unpopular, and has never backed away from articulating why she felt her votes were necessary for the good of the whole community. She works hard to educate herself and understand the issues, casts her votes publicly and then backs her votes by communicating her position with the Public. Because of her understanding of the issues, she was the only elected official to testify in support of eligibility in the Stockton Bankruptcy.
Kathy is a graduate of the Great Valley Center Leadership Institute, Leadership Stockton and California State University San Bernardino Downtown Association Professional Certificate Program. She holds a three-year A.A. in Interior Design and is a recipient of the 2005 California Association of Leadership Programs Distinguished Leader Award and 2004 Leadership Stockton Outstanding Alumni Award for Community Service. She has served on the Executive Committee of the Business Leadership Summit, San Joaquin Partnership Economic Development Task Force and the Board of Directors and Government Relations Council of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.