What politician says they were endorsed by superstar rapper Nicki Minaj? Jalen McKee-Rodriguez does. The educator turned politician made history when the Texas high school teacher became the first openly queer city council member in San Antonio. (In fact, he beat out a long time San Antonio incumbent for the city council seat.) At 26, McKee-Rodriguez has said he’s spearheading progressive change in a state like Texas. This year he was recognized by San Antonio magazine as best politician for his platforms on education, housing and income inequality. Now that the former teacher has transitioned from the classroom to the city council chambers he has said publicly: “As a teacher I had to prepare my students for the world as it exists now and now that I’m a councilman, I can prepare the world for my students.” —K.M.