Trudell Een was our Smart Voter leader, League colleague and friend and, yes, she was a true hero in every sense of the word. She led our team with inspiration, courage, and style.
In 1997 when the Internet was still young, she saw Smart Voter's potential for taking Leagues' nonpartisan election coverage to the multitudes and led the way with her supreme competence and quiet confidence. With her belief in its capabilities, her commitment and courage, Smart Voter service quickly grew beyond the borders of Silicon Valley, its launch site, to serve all Californians and some major metropolitan areas of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Missouri by 2008, when she stepped aside.
She was the sole author of the "Smart Voter Cookbook" which described, in detail, the organization, roles, functions, and materials of the project. This tremendous, behind-the-scenes achievement laid the path forward to Smart Voter's operational success.
Trudell inspired every member of our team to build Smart Voter using our gifts to the fullest potential. She worked side-by-side with each of us—on operations, marketing and fundraising. She often led with an almost invisible hand but always with encouragement and enthusiasm for the task—and completely undaunted by adversity.
Trudell saw her work validated on the world stage in 1999, when she led the Smart Voter team to Stockholm, Sweden to receive an award from the Bangemann Challenge and in 2002, for the Stockholm Challenge. The exciting experiences included heraldic trumpets, the national choir, the presence of the King, and dinner in the Gold Room where the Nobel laureates are honored.
In 2004, Smart Voter was named a Tech Museum Award laureate at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. Tech Awards are given to worldwide projects for technological innovations benefiting humanity. Trudell elegantly received the handsome Equality award at the black tie celebration from Tony Ridder, CEO of Knight-Ridder.
In 2006, the League of Women Voters of the United States recognized Smart Voter for its outstanding work in voter education at the national convention in Minneapolis—so appropriate that Trudell should receive this honor in her home state.
In 2009, Trudell was honored by her local League and the Mayor of San Jose with a commemorative plaque for her service to the community by her leadership as Smart Voter Director and president of her local League.
Reluctantly and with great sadness our entire nationwide Smart Voter team bids farewell to our remarkable leader and friend. We are forever grateful to Trudell for dedicating her time and talent to building this groundbreaking online election service. There is no doubt that Trudell's steady hand at the helm enabled Smart Voter to survive and thrive from start-up to trusted online presence generating thousands of comments from users such as:
Thanks again for providing the best election resource since the invention of the newspaper.
All contributions to the Trudell Een Legacy Fund will assure her dedication to an informed electorate is everlasting.
Trudell's vibrant spirit will be with us forever but we miss that incandescent smile and strong confident presence in our midst.
-- The Smart Voter Team
Return to Trudell's main page