As all great innovators know, it doesn’t take a specific job title — or an office in our nation’s capital — to create powerful change in our country.
That’s why this list of 40 rising political stars under the age of 40, from the Washington Post‘s politics blog The Fix, is so interesting: It focuses on people who’ve earned their reputation working outside of Washington, D.C., from state governors and mayors to other local operatives. The list has been in the making for months, and editors sought opinions from 100 different people across the country before narrowing it down to 40 names, which will be revealed in batches over the next couple of days.
Here’s a quick look at some of the innovators who made the cut. Be sure to check out the remainder of the list on The Fix today and tomorrow:
Aja Brown, 32, Mayor of Compton, California
After defeating both an incumbent and former mayor for office in 2013, Brown is focused on reducing violence in the notoriously dangerous city, where her own grandmother was raped and murdered in the 1970s.
Carlos Curbelo, 34, U.S. Representative candidate from Florida
A current Miami-Dade County School Board member, Curbelo is running against Democrat Joe Garcia for a spot in the Capitol. He’s also the co-founder of a nonprofit that hosts summer basketball leagues for high school students.
Cyrus Habib, 32, Washington state representative
A Rhodes Scholar, former Yale Law Journal editor, jazz pianist and the first Iranian American to hold state office in the country, Habib is a multi-talented rising star who overcame blindness to great political success.