Three public and private sector leaders from Washington state -- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates -- are among the 100 people making it on TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential list for 2017.
Ferguson is a fresh face on the list after he successfully challenged President Donald Trump's first travel ban. He's listed in the "Pioneers" section of the annual TIME feature. His entry was written by famed Star Trek actor and gay rights activist George Takei. The actor said his thoughts about Ferguson's fight brought him back to his days as a child, citing the pledge of allegiance while locked in a Japanese-American internment camp.
"Bob Ferguson clearly believes everyone deserves those guarantees, no matter their background. That is, after all, what makes us Americans. We are a country of immigrants. And it was thrilling to watch him speak out in the court of law in order to ensure a better and truer democracy," Takei wrote.
Bezos, listed in the "Titans" section, has become one of the front-runners in the effort to privatize space travel. His entry was written by Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the moon.
"In my recent visit to his Blue Origin rocket company near Seattle, nearly 50 years after my moonwalk, I was heartened to see a space-geek extraordinaire become a passionate patron of helping to shape the future of America’s space program via his entrepreneurial spunk, imagination and, yes, willingness to put dollars where his dreams are," Aldrin wrote.
Gates is listed as one of TIME's most influential "leaders." Her entry was written by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
"Her vision for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has helped lift the lives of millions of people. Its work reflects her impatient optimism. Her ability to think big and move fast. Her love of numbers. (Bill’s not the only data geek in the family.) Her passionate commitment to empowering women and girls, seen in the foundation’s support for increasing access to contraceptives in developing countries. Her fundamental belief in human dignity. It’s all there, woven tightly into the DNA of one of the most ambitious and generous philanthropies in history," Sandberg wrote.