As Metro announces the start of its annual Man and Woman of the Year event, last year’s winners, Barack and Michelle Obama, are still reeling from a trouncing at the mid-term elections and criticism of the cost of a European vacation Mrs. Obama took.

Metro’s Man and Woman of the Year event does not attempt to recognize those who have necessarily done most good in 2010; rather, the judgment will be based on the people who have affected the news headlines — for better or for worse — over the last 12 months.

This year, there is an extra layer to our end of year event: We want Metro readers to nominate and vote for the local, community heroes and heroines — the unsung stalwarts whose work rarely gets the recognition it deserves.

The Local Heroes will feature prominently in a special end-of-year edition of Metro to be published on Dec. 27, as will the man and woman you, the readers, decide dominated the headlines to the greatest extent this year.

Local heroes

America is one of the most generous nations.

We give away a huge portion of our income to more than 1.4 million registered nonprofit organizations in the U.S.

And that’s not the end of the story.

Thousands of extraordinary people perform acts of kindness in their homes, neighborhoods and schools. The good that they do is often left unreported.

Metro wants to change that. We want the heroes and heroines of our communities to take pride of place in our Dec. 27 edition.

We want our 1.3 million readers to know all about the people who are the pride and joy of our towns and cities.

We want you to nominate them and to vote for them.

They made the news:?You decide

So, who is it to be this time?

In the Man of the Year section, President Obama dominated the news — but not for reasons he would choose.

Consider: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks; Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero; BP?CEO Tony Hayward; Apple CEO Steve Jobs; the 33 Chilean miners; Tiger Woods; Mark Zuckerberg; LeBron James; Conan O’Brien.

For voting purposes, we consider the Tea Party and New York’s bed bugs in the male category ...

And what of the leading female personalities of 2011?

Lady Gaga, a cultural icon; Taylor Swift (did she save the music industry?); Tina Fey’s star continues in the ascendancy; First lady Michelle Obama for her anti-obesity campaign; Sarah Palin; Elin Woods?

These are only suggestions. Ultimately the choice is yours.

How to nominate

Local Heroes:
» To nominate a Local Hero email us at
» Please: Include the neighborhood and city of your nominee in the subject field.
» Also: Tell us, in around 100 words, why you want to nominate the person. Please also include contact details – we’ll want to take photographs of them and you.

Man or Woman of the Year:
» To nominate someone from Man or Woman of the Year, e-mail us at and feel free to tell us, in 100 words or less, why.

» Nominations in both categories run until Friday Dec. 3. Over the weekend of Dec. 4 and 5, Metro will produce a shortlist of nominees.

» From Dec. 6 to Dec. 19, we invite readers to vote for the nominees.

How to vote:
» To vote for a Local Hero, send your votes to Include the name of the person you wish to vote for.
» To vote for a Man or Woman of the Year, send your vote to

» Or:
» Text 89800 — From Dec. 6, we will outline the text voting options on the cover of Metro each day.

» Or:
» We’ll be running a Local Heroes and Man and Woman of the Year blog at From Dec. 6, we’ll give you the option to vote online.