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Ashley B. Carson
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Ashley Carson Cottingham, J.D., is the Policy & Advocacy Director for Compassion & Choices. Before joining Compassion & Choices she was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Primary Health & Aging of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions at the U.S. Senate. She is also a former Executive Director of OWL – The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, founded as the Older Women’s League. During her time with OWL she worked closely with the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations as the co-chair of the Income Security Committee and also as co-chair of the Older Women’s Economic Security Taskforce for the National Council of Women’s Organizations. Additionally, she sat on the Executive Committee of both the Elder Justice Coalition and the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging in D.C, and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Prior to joining OWL, Ms. Carson worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children (CASA). She also worked as part of the Vermont Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project where she visited long-term care facilities, met with residents, and advocated for reform to guardianship laws. Prior earning her law degree, Ms. Carson worked in Human Resources at a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Carson received her law degree from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Oregon.

Entries by Ashley B. Carson

New Research Shows Wide Support for Patients' End-of-Life Rights

(24) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 9:28 AM

Recent headlines and stories about a poll from The Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life project missed the real news.

The poll showed that a majority or "two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) say there are at least some situations in which a patient should be allowed...

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Elder Abuse: A National Tragedy

(3) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 7:45 PM

On June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we take time to acknowledge that an estimated 2.1 million older Americans fall victim to elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation each year. At Compassion & Choices we work diligently to protect older adults by upholding their rights...

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Older Women Rally Nationwide

(4) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 1:44 PM

The Older Women's League (OWL) rallied this weekend. They organized rallies with members of MoveOn.org outside of "town hall" meetings in 6 cities nationwide, because they were worried. This was all part of a campaign called, "Strengthen Social Security," an effort lead by a group called...

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Don't Break the Promise

(3) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 11:45 AM

Today, the President's Fiscal Commission meets for the second time to discuss America's financial situation. The mainstream media has failed to focus on the real causes of America's deficit, and instead focuses largely on Social Security and other "entitlement" reform measures. Let's just be clear - Social Security...

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Enough with the Pink Panthers Bit

(3) Comments | Posted April 27, 2010 | 11:47 AM


Today is the first meeting of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Some of us have been paying very close attention to the discourse leading up to this momentous occasion. For example, Alan K. Simpson, one of the co-chairs insists that the solution...

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Equal Pay Day - The Impact Over a Lifetime

(3) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 11:20 AM

Today marks Equal Pay Day - the point in the year where women's earnings catch up with men's earnings from the previous year. Tragically, poverty for women in old age too often begins the first day they enter the workforce. When they make decisions about the kind of...

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Don't Panic! Social Security will be there for you.

(5) Comments | Posted March 26, 2010 | 7:05 PM

This week the New York Times decided to scare the bejeezus out of everyone by publishing several articles with slanted statements about Social Security. I'd like to revisit some key points in Mary Williams Walsh's piece from March 24 - statements from her article are in bold below.

"The bursting...

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Say NO to the Fast-Track Commission

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 3:15 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 OWL, AFSCME Retirees, AFT Program on Retirement and Retirees, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Association of University Women, Generations United, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare,...

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"Doing Nothing"

(7) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 9:14 PM

So, let me get this straight. The solution to all of our deficit and budgetary woes is to take power away from Congress and turn the decisions over to an undemocratic fast-track commission likely to cut Social Security benefits? Is anyone seriously making this argument with a straight face? Yes,...

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Hands Off Our Social Security

(4) Comments | Posted December 17, 2009 | 11:56 AM

I was recently invited to speak on Capitol Hill about Social Security's importance to people -- specifically, the real men, women and children who rely on Social Security for survival. The event was sponsored by NASI, The National Academy of Social Insurance, and was titled: "Demystifying the Deficit,...

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