The new year is here and all across the country, people have begun making big moves. Check out these ten to watch on the local and national levels.
- Mayor Sylvester Turner
Of course, Houston’s mayor tops the list. In the second year of his four-year term, Mayor Turner received national praise for his leadership with Hurricane Harvey and revamping the city’s pension program. As the mayor told us during the Defender’s Coffee & Conversation, he’s just getting started. His plans for the future include continuing the fight for Houston flood recovery and workforce development. We’ll be watching as he leads the country’s seventh largest city.
- Beyoncé & Jay Z
Our hometown girl is a natural for the ones to watch, but between her and her superstar husband you never know what these two have in store. Either one of them are bound to drop a blockbuster album with no promotion, unveil new business ventures, like Jay’s Tidal music streaming business, or Beyoncé’s Ivy Park and BeyGood Foundation. And now, as the proud parents of twins, Sir and Rumi, we know the world will be watching the whole Carter family.
- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
We can’t help but watch Congresswoman Lee. She spent the last 23 years taking the lead on issues that affect our community. And we have no doubt she’ll let up in 2018. Especially in light of the rollback of crucial programs from the Trump administration, we can count on Jackson Lee to keep up the fight.
- Congressman Al Green
Fighting along with Lee is Congressman Al Green. He already went against the grain in leading the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. And we have no doubt he’ll be leading the charge in 2018 to take back the House.
- Bishop James Dixon
Members of Community of Faith Church know that Bishop Dixon has been a leader and activist to keep an eye on. But is Dixon stepping outside the pulpit to make his mark in on the national scene.
- Colin Kaepernick
He’s been vilified by millions and locked out of the NFL—all because he took a knee to protest police brutality. But Colin Kaepernick’s determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history: Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson—athletes who risked everything to make a difference. Even though no NFL team will touch him, Kaepernick won’t be silenced and is continuing his work in disenfranchised communities. And we’re not even going to mention how we’d love to see him, Diddy and Stephen Curry get together and buy the Carolina Panthers as each has expressed interest in buying the team.
- Trae the Truth
Trae is more than just a rapper. Already well known on Houston’s rap scene, he was catapulted to nationwide fame when he worked nonstop to rescue people during Hurricane Harvey. His work in the community had already garnered him his own day, but he was also presented with the key to the city. He continues to work in Houston’s community, most recently passing out Christmas toys to more than 200 families in need. While he assures his fans he’ll keep rapping, we’re looking forward to his continued community service.
- Shonda Rhimes
If you take your eyes off Shonda Rhimes, you’re liable to miss the next blockbuster series. She already has “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder” but with the last season of “Scandal” airing this year, we know the mega-producer has a blockbuster season in store. And of course, we know she has more great things up her sleeve.
- Ava Duvernay
The big-time director is definitely one to watch. Between her success of “Queen Sugar” and Jay Z’s “Family Feud” music video, we’re already fans. But now that she will become the first woman to direct a $100 million budget movie with “A Wrinkle in Time” we know big things are in store.
- Tiffany Haddish
She burst onto the scene with “Girl’s Trip,” making her a household name. But the talented comedian is just getting started. Now that the world knows her name, you can bet she’s riding the wave. She’s already released a book, a comedy special and has several movies in the works.