As a defender of immigrants and the poor, Rich Stolz eschews the firebrand histrionics common to community organizing in favor of a humble, plaintive manner coupled with a Stanford University–trained intellect. It’s a formula that works. During his more than 15 years in social justice, he has been the driving force behind antipoverty legislation and inspired tens of thousands of immigrants to join rallies and marches across the country. One of 11 activists to receive a “Champion of Change” award from the White House last March, Stolz is now executive director of One America, the state’s largest immigrant advocacy group. During his first year on the job, he has deepened connections with other social justice organizations, most notably finding common cause with gay rights organizations. As he nimbly avoids potential divisions over culture, religion or sexual orientation, Stolz’s brand of activism shows that when many voices speak the same message, there’s no need to shout.
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.