Kevin Coss, Austin Daily Herald, Minn.
Joey Miller, 21, is doing something a little unusual for his age: running for mayor.
“It’s up to my generation to get out there and be politically active, whether that’s run for mayor or be part of a campaign,” Miller said. “People have told me that they think I would be qualified to be mayor of Austin.”
Miller filed to run for mayor Tuesday morning. While he said he filed because he believes the younger generation needs to be more active in politics, he also wanted to see lower taxes and find ways to make Austin a place that’s good for businesses and able to offer more higher-paying jobs.
“There are so many businesses here in Austin that ended up closing for one reason or another,” Miller said. “We want more jobs in Austin. We don’t want to keep living on low wages.”
Austin could use state funding in better ways than it does, he added.
Miller is originally from LeRoy. He attended Rochester Community and Technical College for two years and Riverland Community College for one year. He moved to Austin in September, where he now works part time at McDonald’s. Miller doesn’t have any previous experience in a city government office, but he says he keeps up to date with politics on both the local and national levels.
“I’ve been active by following state politics and going to political events,” Miller said. He spent a week at the state capitol when there was a referendum to build onto the Minnesota Zoo.
“I said we shouldn’t be spending money that way,” he said. Miller participated in several school-related programs he said prepare him to be mayor.
“I was actually secretary of Region 1 for Future Career and Community Leaders of America,” he said. The organization promotes leadership skills by encouraging students statewide to be active in community service.
He also participated for several years during schooling in Students Taking Action with Recognition, a competitive program where students designate activities and goals that build their leadership and career preparation. Activities span a range of different categories, and could include getting letters of recommendation and writing resumes.
Miller was also an intern secretary for Mower County GOP from 2009-2010 and part of the Riverland Student Senate last year. Miller said right now he’s busy getting set up with a campaign committee, which will spend the next few weeks hashing out some of his ideas for the city.
The deadline to file for mayor is June 5.
©2012 the Austin Daily Herald (Austin, Minn.)