White House Conference on Aging must address quality of a long life

July 13, 2015 3:14 PM

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White House Conference on Aging must address quality of a long life

At 70, I’m on the national agenda. Kind of. As the White House Conference on Aging convenes this week in Washington, a fleet of experts will be talking about people my age. This once-every-decade conference aims to make recommendations to the president and Congress that “promote the dignity, health, and economic security of older Americans.” When the first WHCOA met, I was in high school; it’s no surprise that I paid no attention. On the other hand, nine days later, when President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,” I listened hard.

And then, I took up his challenge. As a young lawyer, I was part of a generation of women fighting for equality — challenging discrimination in our laws, policies, and institutions. As an advocate, I worked to stem gun violence. After experiencing how litigation can impede practical solutions, I wen...

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