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🏠 Personal

Community, friends, home, and self.

Community involvement, creative output, and the other small things that bring me joy.


In my life.


In my community.


In my shop.

My Bio

I’m a first-generation American and Midwesterner who wants to have authentic, loving, and aspirational relationships with my neighbors, friends, family, city, country, and world.

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio as the first American in my family. My parents had left Poland to escape an authoritarian regime and built a new life in the US. Growing up between two cultures has sometimes been confusing, but it always encouraged me to look at a challenge, a person, or a place from multiple perspectives. And as a bonus, I can make both pizza and pierogi from scratch.

I have worked in numerous roles in the public and non-profit sectors, from Community Organizations, to City Halls, to State’s Attorneys, to Public Schools.

I love my home of Peoria, Illinois, a place that has attracted peoples for thousands of years because of its richly fertile ground. Considered by many Americans as flyover country, I believe the seeds of acceptance, empowerment, and innovation can grow here.


Outside of work and woodworking, I like to spend some of my freetime volunteering with projects that impact my home of Peoria.

Downtown Advisory Commission, Commissioner

The Downtown Advisory Commission seeks community input and expertise to support informed decision-making by Peoria’s City Council.

As a commissioner, I seek to advocate for equitable development in Peoria’s downtown, ensuring future plans for the region’s center are accessible and create economic and cultural opportunities for all residents, employees, and visitors, regardless of class, race, or cultural background.

Learn more about the Downtown Advisory Commission

Peoria Innovation Alliance, Board Member

I joined the founding board of the Peoria Innovation Alliance and champion open data efforts, including the creation of Peoria’s first open data portal.

Learn more about the Peoria Innovation Alliance

Peoria Coalition to End Money Bond, Founding Member

I’ve worked with community activists in Peoria to create a coalition of organizations united behind ending money bond in our city and the State of Illinois. The Coalition is part of the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice and we regularly bail out individuals being jailed simply for being unable to pay bond and holds informational sessions to educate Peorians across the city.

Learn more about the Peoria Coalition to End Money Bond

Moss Bradley Residential Association, Board Member

I am the youngest board member in one of Peoria’s most active neighborhood organizations. I’m passionate about making our neighborhood more accessible and compassionate.

Learn more about the Moss Bradley Residential Association

League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria, Member

As a former board member and current member, I’ve championed efforts at the League to  modernize our technology, increase voter engagement, and develop diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
– Organized presentations on how the League could work to live these values in our efforts.
– Built first survey to create baseline and measure diversity of League members.

Voter Engagement
– Worked with other League members to build a website that would serve as an accessible source of information on local candidates for Peoria area voters.

Learn more about the League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria

Renaissance Park Community Association, Member

I volunteer my time to support community association efforts that use beautification and place-making to connect neighbors with diverse backgrounds and make our community more safe and accessible.

Learn more about the Renaissance Park Community Association

Testifying to a Supreme Court Commission in Springfield, Illinois for the end of money bond.
At a meeting organizing for Peoria's Civic Hackathon, as a part of the Peoria Innovation Alliance
A tactical urbanism and community beautification project, I maintained these planters in my neighborhood with planting and weeding.
A sketch of a traffic calming intervention I designed for Moss Bradley neighborhood, presented to City staff


Two classes, all ten fingers (phew), and countless projects later, woodworking has become a relaxing hobby and rewarding creative outlet for me.

In 2013, I was living and working on a real fixer-upper of a home in the small town of Cleves outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. To sharpen my DIY skills, I enrolled in a Woodworking 101 class at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. I made a strangely shaped box and a trivet (the thing you put hot pots on) and was hooked. Since then, I’ve branched out to making frames, furniture, jewelry, toys, and small trinkets.

Some of the reasons I enjoy woodworking:

  1. It is an ancient form of construction and art that connects me to those who came long before me. Not only am I carrying on a tradition, but my understanding of woodworking reveals the blueprints for many wooden objects that surround me in my daily life. I look at a chair, table, or dresser and imagine how it might have been made.
  2. It is connected to nature. Even after the death of the tree, wood can feel very alive as it swells and contracts with temperature and humidity. This invites me to learn its structure and qualities, but also care for my creations after they are complete. I have grown to deeply admire trees and appreciate their nature during their life and after their passing.
  3. It is a practice of patience. A maxim of woodworking is “measure twice, cut once.” I’ve put this line into practice, and sometimes measure thrice! Yet, I still sometimes wind up making a cut that sets me back hours or days in a project. The acceptance of something that is broken and cannot be fixed, and the subsequent drive to start over, is good practice for the other parts of my life.

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