It was wonderful to present the Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award to Ed Lee at our most recent Common Council meeting. Pictured above is Ed with Jeff's parents, Pam and Howard.
The award was created by the Common Council to honor Madison residents who exemplify Jeff Erlanger's model of fairness, openness, and civility in public discourse. Jeff, who passed away in 2007, was committed to public service. He understood that through civil debate and effective representation those with varying opinions could come together on how to solve issues within the community. Jeff served on the City of Madison's Economic Development Commission and chaired the Commission on People with Disabilities as well as the Board of Directors of the Community Living Alliance.
Ed Lee has served the Urban League of Greater Madison and residents of Madison in a variety of roles for more than 23 years. He began his career as an Academic Specialist with the Urban League's Project Jamaa after-school tutoring program for Madison middle school students. In his lengthy service he has served in a variety of roles including interim President/CEO, Senior Bice President and Chief Operating Officer.
As always, Jeff's parents were able to attend the Council meeting and talk to us about their son and the award. His dad Howard said that they knew Jeff would admire and respect the work that Ed Lee has been doing.
There are many similarities between Ed Lee and Jeff Erlanger. I think of them as worker bees who do the right thing because of their deep commitment, not to garner a lot of attention or accolades. It's wonderful to be able to thank Ed for his years of service.