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Hill Climbers: Young Staffers Hired to Aging Committee

Age really is nothing but a number — at least for young staffers on the Senate Aging Committee. [IMGCAP(1)]

Cara Goldstein, Evan Hellman and Adam Weaver are all under 30 years old, but they take on issues such as Social Security and retirement savings every day. Though they won’t face these problems themselves for at least a couple of decades, committee spokesman Ashley Glacel says — with no irony — she doesn’t think that will be a problem.

“Their prior experience makes our new staffers a perfect fit,” Glacel wrote in an e-mail.

Goldstein, 28, was already working for the office when she stepped into her new role as a policy adviser for the committee. She started as a staff assistant in August 2007, after earning her master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005.

Before joining the Aging Committee, she worked as a policy associate for the National Center on Caregiving at the Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco. She is replacing former policy adviser Cherie Wilson, who left the Hill to become director of government affairs at Constellation Energy.

Goldstein’s new job includes, among other things, planning hearings on senior housing and emergency preparedness.

Stepping in to take over for Goldstein is Evan Hellman, the committee’s new staff assistant. He will answer constituent mail and help prepare for hearings.

Hellman, 23, graduated from Cornell University in 2007 as a communications

major with a focus in government and history. Although he is new to the committee, he brings political experience to his job. He interned for Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.). Hellman also worked as a field coordinator for Joseph Ruggiero’s unsuccessful campaign for county executive of Dutchess County, N.Y., in the fall of 2007. He also worked on retirement security issues for AARP for two summers, a background that should help him settle in quickly at the Aging Committee.

When former staffer Will Kramer left the Hill to move to Wisconsin, Adam Weaver was there to take his place as an associate investigator. Weaver is a 2003 philosophy graduate of St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s City, Md. He received his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in 2008.

Before taking over for Kramer, Weaver, 26, served as a law clerk for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations. As an associate investigator for the Aging Committee, Weaver will be involved in planning oversight and investigation hearings.

The committee, which is chaired by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), deals with a wide range of issues related to the elderly. These include Social Security, retirement, health care, long-term care, fraud and abuse, and emergency preparedness. The committee also tackles topics such as rising energy costs, affordable housing issues and the upcoming transition to digital television.

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