Aruna Miller has broken barriers throughout her political career in Maryland. As the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2022, she made history as the first Asian American elected statewide in Maryland. Miller previously served in the state legislature, where she was the first Indian American ever elected. Her career demonstrates a commitment to public service and advocating for progressive policies.
Early Life and Education
Aruna Miller was born in Hyderabad, India in 1964. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old. They settled in Clarksville, Tennessee where there was a small Indian community at the time.
Miller earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 1989. She went on to receive a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1997.
Professional Career as an Engineer
After completing her undergraduate education, Miller worked as a transportation engineer and planner in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 25 years. She started as an entry-level engineer and took on roles with increasing responsibility over time.
Some of Miller’s major projects included directing the construction of a biosolid composting facility, managing the county’s energy performance contract, and overseeing pedestrian safety initiatives. She also supervised teams of engineers and spearheaded efforts to improve procurement policies.
Election to the Maryland House of Delegates
In 2010, Miller ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 15, which covers part of Montgomery County. She had never held elected office before but was motivated to bring her professional expertise to the state legislature.
Miller won the crowded Democratic primary and went on to win the general election. She became the first Indian American ever elected to the Maryland General Assembly.
Legislative Committee Assignments
During her time as a delegate, Miller served on several committees relevant to her background:
- Appropriations Committee
- Transportation Subcommittee
- Education Subcommittee
- Oversight Committee on Personnel
She was also active in the Women Legislators of Maryland and Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus.
Key Legislative Accomplishments
Miller used her seat in the legislature to champion several progressive causes. Some highlights of her legislative record include:
- Transportation: Sponsored legislation to fund the Maryland Metro system and supported the gas tax increase for infrastructure improvements.
- Healthcare: Backed bills to expand healthcare coverage, make prescription drugs more affordable, and address the opioid epidemic.
- Education: Fought for increased education funding, sponsored computer science education legislation, and supported the Maryland DREAM Act.
- Environment: Supported bills related to renewable energy, hydraulic fracturing bans, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Immigration: Sponsored legislation to provide in-state tuition for DREAMers and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
- Women’s Issues: Passed bills related to paid sick leave, equal pay, domestic violence protections, and family planning access.
- LGBTQ Rights: Co-sponsored legislation legalizing same-sex marriage and banning discrimination based on gender identity.
Miller was considered one of the most progressive delegates during her tenure. She used her platform to advocate for the vulnerable and underserved.
2018 Congressional Election
In 2018, Miller ran for the U.S. House seat in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which came open after Rep. John Delaney ran for president. She positioned herself as a progressive champion taking on the political establishment.
However, Miller lost in the crowded Democratic primary to businessman David Trone, who vastly outspent the other candidates. Trone went on to win the general election.
Miller’s congressional bid was endorsed by groups like EMILY’s List, Democracy for America, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. She ran on issues like healthcare, education, transportation, the environment, and women’s rights.
Election as Lieutenant Governor in 2022
Four years later, Miller aimed higher and set her sights on becoming Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor. She won a competitive Democratic primary in July 2022.
Miller ran on the ticket with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore. Their campaign focused on issues like jobs, transportation, education, healthcare access, climate change, criminal justice reform, and civil rights.
In November 2022, the Moore-Miller ticket defeated the Republican nominees by a sizable margin. Miller made history as the first Asian American elected statewide in Maryland.
Miller resides in Montgomery County, Maryland where she raised her three daughters with her husband, David. All of her daughters attended public schools in the county.
Outside of work, Miller has been involved with various community organizations over the years. This includes serving as president of the Indo-American Caucus, an Asian Pacific American advisory group, and the Clarksville Rotary Club.
In conclusion, Aruna Miller has dedicated her career to public service and blazed trails for women and minorities in Maryland politics. Her engineering background and progressive values shaped her work as a state legislator. After breaking barriers with her election as Lieutenant Governor in 2022, Miller is poised to keep advocating for inclusive policies and social change in her new role.
Who is Aruna Miller?
Aruna Miller is a Democratic politician who was elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland in 2022. She previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2011-2019.
What is Aruna Miller’s background?
Miller was born in India and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. She worked for over 25 years as a transportation engineer in Montgomery County. She has engineering degrees from Missouri S&T and the University of Maryland.
When was Aruna Miller elected as Lieutenant Governor?
Miller won the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor in July 2022. She went on to win the general election on November 8, 2022 on the ticket with gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore.
What legislation did Aruna Miller sponsor as a delegate?
As a delegate, Miller sponsored progressive bills related to transportation, healthcare, education, the environment, immigration, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and more.
What election did Aruna Miller lose in 2018?
In 2018, Miller ran in the Democratic primary for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District but lost to David Trone, who vastly outspent her.