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Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced today that Judy Olson and Warren Onken have been selected as the recipients of the second annual Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award and will be awarded the honor at tonight's Common Council meeting.

The award was created by the Mayor and Common Council to honor the example of civility in public service set by Jeff Erlanger who passed away in 2007. Nominations were reviewed and a winner selected by a committee that included a representative of the Erlanger family.

"Judy Olson and Warren Onken are respected across our community for their ability to seek common ground and resolve tough issues. They both exemplify the spirit of service to the community and civility that was shown by Jeff Erlanger," Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said. "Judy and Warren embody the civil, honest and fair-minded approach that Jeff demonstrated. I am very pleased to recognize them both as recipients of the Erlanger Award."

In her 12 years on the Common Council, Judy Olson was instrumental in the completion of several neighborhood plans that helped guide development in the 6th District. She chaired the City's Living Wage Task Force, which resulted in the passage of the city's Living Wage ordinance and assisted in the completion of the city's Climate Protection Plan.

Warren Onken has the distinction of being the longest serving alderperson, with 28 years of dedicated and conscientious service on the Madison Common Council. During that time, Warren became known for his exceptional leadership skills and his willingness to work with others to achieve compromise on some of the most controversial issues facing the city.

"My husband and I are so pleased with the selection of Judy and Warren, who are such great examples of civility in government," said Pam Erlanger, who represents the Erlanger family on the selection committee. "They are both highly principled, yet unafraid of seeking workable compromises."

Judy and Warren were nominated by Lisa Veldran on behalf of the current Common Council.


  • Mario Mendoza, (608) 266-4611