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Mayor Paul Soglin announced today that Enis Ragland has been selected as the recipient of the sixth annual Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award. The award will be presented at the Common Council meeting on Tuesday, December 11.

The award was created by the Common Council to honor a Madison resident who exemplifies Jeff Erlanger's model of fairness, openness, and civility in public discourse. Jeff, who passed away in 2007, was committed to public service and understood the importance of bringing people of differing opinions together through civil debate and constructive advocacy. Mr. Erlanger chaired the City of Madison's Commission on People with Disabilities and served on the Economic Development Commission in addition to other community activities.

Enis Ragland was employed by the City of Madison for 18 years, serving in the Mayor's Office, as interim director of the Affirmative Action Department and as interim Supervisor of the Office of Community Services. Mr. Ragland has also been a leader as a volunteer with a number of community organizations, including the Madison Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Urban League of Greater Madison, NAACP, the Wisconsin Association of Black State Employees, and many more.

"Enis Ragland's respect for other people and other viewpoints has been a key factor in his success in so many settings," said Mayor Paul Soglin. "He has been able to work cooperatively with others to find solutions to difficult problems, always seeking to better our community. I especially appreciate his commitment to helping our youth, as a foster parent, a mentor, and through the work of 100 Black Men."

"My husband and I are thrilled with the selection of Enis Ragland," said Pam Erlanger, Jeff's mother. "His contributions to the city of Madison are significant and numerous. For many years, Enis has been the "go to" person, helping to bring people together on some of the most sticky and sensitive situations in the city. He did this as a city employee in the Mayor's office, but also through his extensive volunteer work. These are exactly the qualities that the Council seeks to honor in the Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award. A lovely side note is that Enis encouraged and supported Jeff in his work, as a mentor and a friend."


  • Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611