The daughter of emigrants from Mexico, Maria Lorena González grew up in the lower Yakima Valley in a family of migrant farmworkers. A nationally recognized civil rights attorney, González registered big on local radar when she settled an excessive force and discrimination lawsuit brought against the city and the Seattle Police Department in 2012 that resulted in a mandate that the use of racially charged language in the force was grounds for termination. With her commitment to the community (currently serving on Seattle’s Ethics and Elections Commission) and immigrant affairs (she’s on the OneAmerica board), we’re watching where her unwavering commitment to individuals victimized by others in authority takes her next.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.