My background allows me to look at cities from different angles. At the age of 14, I started writing in a local newspaper — an experience that shaped my academic and professional interests later in life, specifically, my focus on local politics. While still an undergraduate student, I was elected
as a member of the Municipal Council in Moscow, becoming one of the youngest elected officials — and the first ever elected libertarian — in Russia.
As a councilor, I campaigned for more transparency and accountability of the municipal government and inspected public spending in dozens of construction and housing projects. On top of that, I shared my experience in my blog and through training young activists all across Russia (which inspired
some of them to run for local office as well). My story was told by The New York Times
and in a book titled Generation Putin