Best Gadfly/Activist (2000)
Anne Carlson, Dallas County chair, Common Cause Texas
She might look like your benevolent aunt, but Anne Carlson is a pit bull. Her quiet but determined approach to uncovering the sleaze of City Hall politics is a refreshing change from the E-histrionics of Sharon Boyd or the eco-tinged good government babble of the Green Party types. They are her allies, but she puts the best foot forward with a more professional approach. She knows the fight isn't about herself but her issues, and she sticks to them tenaciously. As a champion of electoral reform and government ethics, she seldom misses an important meeting and always has coherent material to back her positions. Combine that efficiency with her smarts and even temper (even when goaded), and you have a badass gadfly who could possibly drive real change in Dallas politics. The odds are stacked against her, but hell, we can dream, can't we?