Best Political Activist (2004)
She attended her first North Broward Hospital District meeting in 1993, angry about what she felt were bloated salaries for officials. Back then, Jane Kreimer, a native of Pittsburgh, was a 69-year-old grandmother who lived in Pompano with her retired husband. Since then, she's become a most dogged watchdog of the controversial -- and utterly corrupt -- public hospital system. While the Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald often failed to do their jobs, Kreimer would be there, criticizing sleazy land deals, crooked business propositions, and bad medical practices. Even though Kreimer is an inveterate critic, she's always done it with style. When she attends monthly board meetings -- which she almost never misses -- she wears fine dresses and hats, as if she were headed for a skybox at the Kentucky Derby. She also keeps up a steady discourse (and believe us, Kreimer can talk with the best of them) with commissioners to maximize her effectiveness. Back in 1995, the board even allowed her to vote with the seven commissioners on whether to hire Wil Trower as CEO. Though Kreimer cast her ballot against Trower, he was approved by a majority. Well, Trower has proven to be a monumental disaster as district leader. Maybe Kreimer hasn't been able to clean up the district altogether -- nobody could -- but she's investigated and done more than just a little good while she's been at it. We tip our hat to the grand dame of the district.