Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Remembering Jeff (II)

The Capital Times: By Kristin Czubkowski

In 36 years of life, Jeff Erlanger built a resume that could put many city politicians or political organizers to shame.

Former chairman of Madison's Commission on People With Disabilities, chairman of the board of directors of the Community Living Alliance, member of the city's Economic Development Commission and the Governor's Committee for People With Disabilities, board member of Jewish Social Services and the Madison Area Community Land Trust -- the list goes on.

Add in a run for the City Council and a childhood appearance on 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' that led to a speech at the icon's memorial in 2003, and Erlanger did more in his life than most people do with twice the amount of time."...

[Mayor Dave] Cieslewicz said he was friends with Erlanger for many years and will miss him personally as well as professionally.

"He was somebody I relied on for a number of issues," he said.

More importantly, Cieslewicz said Erlanger was well-respected and liked.

"He had a minimum investment in ego," the mayor said. "It was always just about making progress."

Erlanger's death, Cieslewicz said, is a "real significant loss to the city."

Howard Erlanger shared a quote from an award-winning WHA promotion that Jeff was a part of, which aired frequently on national stations and embodied his perspective on life.

"It doesn't matter what I can't do -- what matters is what I can do," Jeff Erlanger says in the promotion. "That's how I try to live my life."

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