November 2014 was a good month to be a Democrat in Wake County. (Most everywhere else, not so much.) A progressive wave swept the county commission's conservative majority out of office, ushering in a new generation of liberal leaders—John Burns, Jessica Holmes, Sig Hutchinson, and Matt Calabria—who over the last year and a half have better funded schools and jump-started an all-important transit initiative, just as they promised during the campaign. (Their utter dominance—Dems now hold all seven seats—led Republicans in the legislature to gerrymander the commission districts to help their brethren get elected.) But if we have to single out one for praise, it's Calabria, an attorney from Fuquay-Varina who has led efforts to raise the wages of the county's lowest-paid employees and provide protections for its LGBTQ workers. In an era of HB 2, and with the General Assembly peering over their shoulder, there's only so much local governments can do to move the ball forward. Piece by piece, Calabria and his colleagues are doing it.