City Pages People Issue 2018: Meet the unsung heroes of the Twin Cities

Tootie Martin, Lizzy Crist, and Richard Painter: Three Minnesotans making our state a better place.

Tootie Martin, Lizzy Crist, and Richard Painter: Three Minnesotans making our state a better place. Colin Michael Simmons

Welcome back to your Twin Cities.

Now that the Super Bowl crowds have dissipated, and life returns to its normal thrum, it’s time to look around and take note of the people who make the Twin Cities special all year long.

Our annual People Issue recognizes the folks who shape our local scene. They inspire us to find joy in our lives and hold it tight. They challenge us to rethink old ways and old words. They remind us to live our values and vote our conscience, no matter what.

These 18 men and women show us a side of the Twin Cities worth cherishing and celebrating. Read on and do just that. 

Kate Beane and Carly Bad Heart Bull: The Storytellers
Two leading activists to restore Bde Maka Ska's name.

Kara Lynum: The Immigrant's Lawyer
Fighting the anti-immigration movement one client at a time.

Tootie Martin: The Peanut Man
The happiest man at the farmer's market.

Joe Radinovich: The Politician with a Heart
A crushing loss on principle was only the beginning. 

Maya Clark: The Scene-Setter
A deeply personal writer on the rise.

Moose Younghans: The Coach
Shepherding a still-standing hockey team with a generation of immigrants.

Eric Pasi: The Energy Futurist
Bringing solar power to the people. 

Matt Tennant: The Bike Builder
A two-wheeled approach to combatting youth homelessness.

Marcelo Mendieta: The Prince of San Antonio de Paguancay
A local restaurateur who keeps home in his heart.

Amy and Dave Freeman: The Wilderness Protectors
Husband and wife explorers determined to save the BWCA.

Paige Dansinger: The Creator of Worlds
Making a more empathetic culture through virtual reality.

Chris Serres: The Reporter
Shedding light on grim conditions for the state's most vulnerable. 

Richard Painter: The Ethicist in Chief
The Republican lawyer who should scare Donald Trump.

Clarence Castile: The Peacekeeper
Personal tragedy inspires an unlikely turn toward law enforcement.

Sarah Souder Johnson: The Human Support System
Slicing away the stigma from mental health and addiction.

Lizzy Crist: The Saver
A champion soccer player comes home to fight cancer.

Jack Jackman: The Newspaperman
Publisher emeritus of Minnesota's oldest black-owned business.

Brittany Lynch: The Renaissance Woman
A DJ burning the candle at both ends.