Elissa Jane Lang*
February 28, 1948 ~ March 9, 2016
Longtime Salem activist, Jane Lang, was an inspiration to me and many others.
Jane fought for what she believed in: The Salem NH Farmers Market. Senior rights. Social Security. Affordable health care for all.
Jane believed that “Change starts with me” and proudly wore a button to remind us that change starts with each one of us.
Jane believed in Salem. She believed in New Hampshire and our great country. And she believed in me.
Although our paths had crossed many times, the first time Jane and I sat down one-on-one, in 2013, she asked me to consider running for State Rep. The last time I visited with her, shortly before she passed, she asked me again. I wasn’t ready to commit to running for State Rep in 2016 at that time, but I did win my seat on the Zoning Board the day before she died. I hope she knew.
Jane’s family asked the Farmers Market to do a Celebration of her life. I was chosen to speak about her political life. In part of that eulogy, I shared what Jane had told me: “If not you, who? If not now, when?” I got goosebumps as I shared it then, and every time I’ve shared that story since.
If you don’t like what you see in the world today, let Jane be your inspiration. Change the world! If you can’t change the whole world, then tackle your little corner of the world. And, if you can’t do that, then consider helping those of us who are trying.
Jane changed the dialogue. I can’t possibly fill her shoes, but I’ll sure try, and I’ll encourage others to do the same. Because change started with Jane. Change starts with me. And change starts with each of us.
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.
For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
~ Margaret Mead
Thank you, Jane.
My “Change Starts with Me” pin came from Jane’s husband, Ted. It’s a fun story. Ask me about it!
*Photo of Jane used by permission: Allegra Overman Photography
Thank you, Allegra!