In November 2012, when Cyrus Habib was elected as the state representative for the 48th District (which includes Bellevue, Kirkland, Medina and Redmond), he became the first Iranian-American elected to state office in the U.S. and the first fully blind politician in more than 100 years. While the mere fact of his election reset political horizons, the lawmaker pushes forward with an agenda informed by his life experiences (he lost his vision to cancer at the age of 8 and battled skin cancer as an adult), including efforts to extend health insurance coverage for everyone in the state.
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.