The past year wasn't a great one for progressive politics. Anti-choice legislation spread across the country, the sequester choked an already weak economy, and more or less nothing continued to be done to combat climate change. It was enough to drive even the most optimistic liberal to at least a few moments of despair.
But the year was not without its bright spots, and as is always the case, it featured dedicated and conscientious people who worked hard to make life just a little bit better for those around them. So without further ado, allow us to present five especially inspiring individuals — our political heroes of the year.