By Liam Bass

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Anne Rudin, one of the first women to be elected Mayor of Sacramento by popular vote, has passed away Thursday at the age of 97.

An advocate for woman’s and LGBT rights, Rudin’s passion for equality and justice fueled her tireless devotion to the city.

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Growing up during the Great Depression, Anne Rudin came up in a working-class Italian-American household in Philadelphia. Rudin began her professional life as a registered nurse. She was also an active member of the League of Women Voters in her community and state.

Rudin was elected to the Sacramento City Council for the first time in 1971, making her the first woman elected in more than two decades. She was an integral part of the tornado of change and expansion that transformed Sacramento from a sleepy government and agricultural town to a thriving metropolis. Rudin’s appeals for improved housing fueled by her tireless work ethic, have helped the city grow to what it is today.

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In 1983, Rudin was elected Mayor of Sacramento, becoming one of the first women to be elected Mayor of Sacramento by the people. Belle Cooledge, Sacramento’s first female Mayor, was appointed to the position in 1948 but did not win re-election.

Rudin served two terms as Mayor until 1993 when she decided not to seek reelection.

She received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2005, for her efforts in boosting bilateral relations between Japan and the United States during her time as Mayor.

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Rudin died on November 25, 2021, at the age of 97, from pneumonia—however, her legacy lives on.