People of the Year 2020: Ones to Watch
These community-nominated leaders are already doing big things. Expect their impact to expand in 2021
We normally call this section “A Look Behind,” but this issue, we’re also looking ahead. In addition to the profiles in our main feature, here are four more community-nominated change-makers who have left an indelible mark on Austin in 2020. We expect their imprint will only expand in 2021.
Aiming to cultivate inclusivity and sustainability in shopping, Ibarra plans to launch a new app, reFIND Shopping, in early 2021. With a vision to hold the fashion industry accountable for both practices, her unique platform puts the focus back on intentional shopping.
The Austin Justice Coalition Team
Founded in 2015 by Chas Moore, the Austin Justice Coalition focuses on improving the quality of life for people who are Black, Brown and poor. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Moore’s team mobilized thousands of Austinites in a peaceful protest that centered Black voices and Black stories. Their ongoing work for racial justice extends far beyond one rally, with four areas of advocacy including education, policing, civic engagement and community-building.
Moving to Austin from Thailand at the age of 30, chef Jam Sanitchat opened Thai Fresh in 2008 to serve seasonally-inspired Thai food. During the pandemic, Sanitchat retained most of her staff—even with the restaurant closed. This year, she self-published a cookbook and opened a new East Austin coffee/ice cream shop, Gati.
As the communications director for MOVE Texas, Bonner and his team helped register over 50,000 young Texans—despite a global pandemic that kept countless students off campus—by mailing thousands of registration forms to voters across the state. According to data from Circle, a research organization focused on youth civic engagement, more than 3 million young people (aged 18-29) had already voted early or absentee by October 21—with Texas leading the charge.