Give poverty-fighters a vote in the Time 100 poll

Every year, Time Magazine publishes the Time 100, a list of the most influential leaders, thinkers, artists and innovators in our world. Game-changers like Oprah, Bill Clinton and Hu Jintao have been on the list (some of them, multiple times), and even Lady Gaga and Conan O’Brien have made the cut.

I know I’ve personally picked it up at the newsstand at least twice or three times before — but this year, I was surprised to learn that the vetting process is open to regular folks like you and me. On Time’s website, you can go through a list of 204 potential candidates and vote whether a nominee is influential or not (I will not reveal my choice for Kanye West…or Snooki).

But jokes aside, there are some really fantastic people on this list who are making a real impact in the fight against global poverty and definitely deserve your vote.

Take Marc LaForce, director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project at PATH, for example. He played a major role in distributing MenAfriVac, the first low-cost vaccine for meningococcal meningitis A to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, immunizing nearly 19.5 million people. PATH is a key partner of ONE, and as we get ready to launch our global campaign in support of child vaccines this spring, we think the timing of his nomination couldn’t be better to showcase how influential vaccines can be for children across the developing world.

Or George Clooney. He’s been using his celebrity to draw attention to Sudan and worked with his organization, Satellite Sentinel, to help avert potential civil wars on the North-South Sudan border during the country’s referendum earlier this year. Matt Damon, too — for his great work on behalf of clean water and sanitation with Water.org.

I have to give props to Al Jazeera for taking the lead on exposing the untold stories of the developing world and their incredible coverage of the Middle East protests (full disclosure — they’re my former employer). It’s a shame that the network is not available in the US, and they should be. And Tawakul Karman for promoting good governance. The human-rights activist in Yemen and chair of Women Journalists Without Chains has been advocating for her government to make a peaceful transition into democracy.

You have until April 14 to look through the candidates and make your decision — so take a look at the list now and make your vote. You can see the full list here.

Is there a candidate you feel passionately about? Share it with us in the comments section below and tell us why!

Photo courtesy of Time.com