“2023’s Treasures of the Puget Sound Region”

The diverse Pacific Northwest community has many unsung heroes who work tirelessly to keep us safe and uplift those in need. From wildland firefighters to librarians to community leaders, here are just a few examples of the incredible individuals and organizations that make our world a better place.

Wildland firefighters, led by Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, have taken significant steps to protect Washington from the growing threat of wildfires. Through improved equipment and collaboration, they have worked to prevent and mitigate the devastation caused by these natural disasters.

Librarians and libraries have become havens for information and knowledge, standing up against censorship and providing valuable resources to the community. Their dedication and hard work often go unnoticed, but they play a crucial role in creating a better society.

Captain Dan Krehbiel and his crew at the King County Water Taxi demonstrated incredible bravery and quick thinking when they averted a potentially catastrophic collision with a runaway barge in Elliott Bay, showcasing the courage and skill of our local maritime community.

The Rev. Jan Bolerjack and her congregation at Riverton Park United Methodist Church have shown compassion and generosity by providing shelter to migrants, highlighting the power of grassroots efforts to support those in need.

Individuals like KeAnna Rose Pickett and Ramona Okumura have demonstrated resilience and hope in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Their commitment to their communities and their ability to triumph over adversity are truly inspiring.

In the political realm, Seattle voters have elected pragmatic and progressive leaders who prioritize public safety and effective governance, setting a positive example for the rest of the country.

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene has worked tirelessly to support local journalism and sustainably fund news organizations, recognizing the critical role that journalism plays in our democracy.

The acquisition of Cinerama by SIFF Cinema Downtown and the expansion of the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center demonstrate the ongoing commitment to providing unique cultural experiences and support for individuals with developmental disabilities in our community.

The dedication and leadership of individuals like Linda Grant, Julie Breidenbach, and the volunteers with the Seal Sitters and Whale Trail groups highlight the selfless efforts of many in our community to protect and care for vulnerable populations and wildlife.

These unsung heroes and their stories remind us of the resilience and compassion that define the Pacific Northwest community, and the impact that each individual can have in making our world a better place. The Seattle Times editorial board celebrates and honors these remarkable individuals and organizations for their extraordinary contributions.

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