Merrick Bobb is charged with no less than restoring public faith in a Seattle Police Department beset by charges of excessive force and biased policing. Appointed by the court as the independent monitor to track federally mandated reforms, Bobb has been working on police accountability since 1991, when the videotaped beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police ripped that city apart. He says the Seattle process will take years but he’s off to a strong start: In his first eight months on the job, he called out the department for resistance, oversaw the appointment of a community police commission, earned the backing of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild and released a draft of an extensive use-of-force policy.
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.