My name is Karen W. Ashley, and I plan to be your next State Senator for District 35.
I’m a native of Atlanta, where I was raised in a large family of two parents and six children. I've been married for 35 years and have raised three wonderful daughters, who you can see with me at the photo to the left.
I grew up in a time when common decency and respect for others were normal, and children looked to the adults in their lives for guidance and role models.
I am a product of Atlanta Public Schools, where I received an education that prepared me both to earn a living and to live a well-rounded life. Our elementary school teachers were skilled instructors who nurtured us, laying the foundation for our social and emotional well-being. In high school, the seeds of leadership and responsibility were sown. It was there that I first registered to vote, in my Civics class. I learned to drive in my high school Drivers’ Ed class, and how to manage a home in Home Economics. If I hadn’t chosen to attend college, I would have had the option to learn a vocation—right there in the same school.
The community where I lived was self-contained. Small businesses employed people living in the neighborhood. There were grocery stores, parks, schools, public health centers, and places of worship—all within walking distance, making a car or money for public transportation optional. Homelessness was unheard of, because there was housing for all income levels. Older adults were able to age in place because our communities were safe and aging-friendly.
I don’t recall if my parents had health insurance, but I seriously doubt that they did, despite their middle-class income status. My siblings and I only rarely became ill, and I believe it had something to do with the food we ate and the environment we lived in. All of our food was whole food. We got plenty of exercise while playing in fresh, clean air. Fruit trees were planted throughout the neighborhood, and we were allowed to pick fresh fruit from them all.
Conditions have changed, but the peoples’ needs have not. My upbringing was wonderful, and I had everything I needed, but we weren’t rich by any means, and the life we had shouldn’t be considered unusual. I believe we all deserve to live in the kind of world I grew up in, and that is what I will fight for as your state senator.
Click HERE to learn more about what I stand for.