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The City of Madison invites you to submit nominations for its annual JEFFREY CLAY ERLANGER CIVILITY IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE AWARD. This award honors Jeffrey Clay Erlanger, who was an individual of integrity, passion, intelligence, and civility. Jeff understood that thoughtful and caring people could have very different views on how to best address our community's many complex issues and problems. Jeff, who died on June 10, 2007, spent a significant part of his life committed to public service, focusing on constructive advocacy and civil debate, fairness, openness, and effective representation. He embraced the similarities that unite us.

The past 18 months have been incredibly challenging for all of us. Many people however have stepped forward to care for others, to listen and to act, and this is an opportunity to honor one of those individuals with this award named in honor of Jeff Erlanger. Jeff Erlanger led by example, showing people how to treat others with respect, despite disagreements.

“The COVID pandemic has isolated many of us and divided our country,” said Madison Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway. “Now, more than ever, we need to be kind to one another – in government and throughout our community. This award is an opportunity to honor Jeff’s legacy - the legacy of an individual who worked with others in a respectful manner, regardless of political affiliation, religious belief, age, race, sexual orientation or any of the many other differences that contribute to our growing lack of civility. Help us identify and lift up the Madisonians working to bring people together by nominating them for this award.”

Jeff served on the City of Madison's Economic Development Commission; he was chair of the
Commission on People with Disabilities; chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Living Alliance; and ran for the Madison Common Council in 2002. He also held a number of other significant positions in the community. One of his greatest accomplishments was his successful push for the accessible taxicab service in Madison today.

The Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award recognizes City of Madison residents who share Jeff Erlanger's dedication to, and passion for, public policy, civility, individual and human rights. The recipient will be an individual who conducts their daily life with these values and who has made a significant impact on the Madison community.

The recipient of the Erlanger Award, and the person who nominated them, will each be able to designate a non-profit charity to receive $250.


  • Nominees must be an adult.
  • Nominees must be residents of the City of Madison whose work, program, project, policy decisions or actions have made a positive contribution to the community and its residents.
  • Nominees must have demonstrated leadership in public advocacy, focusing on constructive civil debate, fairness and openness resulting in effective outcomes in the City of Madison.
  • Nominees must have demonstrated a dedication and commitment to treating people with civility, respect and dignity.
  • Nominees may have been compensated for their work, as long as they exemplify the values represented by the award.
  • Current members of the Common Council, the award committee, City staff and contractors with the City are not eligible to be nominated for this award.

Nominations should contain detailed information regarding the nominee sufficient to allow the award committee to determine that the candidate meets the award criteria. The award committee will not conduct additional research.
Nominations must be submitted on the nomination application and returned to:

Mayor’s Office
Attn: Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Award Nomination Committee
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Room 403
Madison, WI 53703

Nomination forms may be submitted by e-mail at or via fax at 608-267-8671. Please include "Erlanger Award" in the subject line of email communications.

All nominations must be received no later than November 01, 2021.

Questions or requests for additional application forms should be directed to the
Mayor’s Office at 608-266-4611. Information is also available on the City’s website at

A committee to select the award recipient has been appointed by the Mayor and is composed of five (5) individuals, including a member or representative of the Erlanger family; a representative of the Mayor; the Common Council President; and two (2) resident members.

The award is presented annually at a Common Council meeting close to the November 30 birthday of Jeff Erlanger. The 2021 award will be presented on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.


Vision & Awards