A lot has happened in the 10 years since Ellie Hill Smith won her first award for Best Activist (since changed to Leader of the Revolution). She’s served three terms in the state House, had her first child and been named one of TIME
magazine’s 40 under 40. But Hill Smith is quick to steer any conversation about her leadership roles back to the revolution itself. Missoula has a new Poverello Center. The legislature voted to expand Medicaid. While she acknowledges she played a key role in these socioeconomic advancements over the past decade, Hill Smith gives herself only a fraction of the credit. “My journey has been sort of with the people of Missoula,” she says, “if that doesn’t sound too corny.” And victories at the local and state levels have only left her more energized and confident going into the next 10 years. “Our work’s not done,” Hill Smith says.
Finalists, Best Leader of the Revolution
2. Kia Liszak
, Zootown Arts Community Center
3. Betsy Mulligan-Dague
, Jeannette Rankin Peace Center