Shocking as it might seem, the selecting of Bum Steers, while mostly an act of lighthearted fun, can turn into a bit of a drag. The wrongheadedness can pile up, the idiocy can start to weigh, and before too long we feel pretty down on our fellow Texans for their occasional lapses in judgment (and worse). That’s why this year we’re supplementing our list of ignominy with something a bit more upbeat; Texans are nothing if not optimistic, especially about our own capacity to bounce back from mistakes. In that spirit, we have chosen to recognize a few of our fellow citizens who distinguished themselves in 2017 and reminded us of everything that’s great about living in Texas.

Tim Duncan

For his work helping the people of his native Virgin Islands recover after storms devastated the area and his holiday-season commitment to feeding San Antonio’s hungry.

Elsa Alcala

For the Court of Criminal Appeals judge’s tireless, controversial, and often lonely crusade to end the barbaric way that Texas implements the death penalty.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale

For selflessly opening the doors of his Houston stores to Hurricane Harvey victims during the storm and his continuing generosity in the months since.

Charles Butt

For donating $150 million to support public schools in Texas and for committing his family’s company, H-E-B, to performing invaluable disaster-relief work across the state.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Texan

People like Cajun Navy volunteer Holly Hartman, for watching out for fellow Texans in their moment of greatest need.