Born in Ukraine under Soviet rule, Serhiy (Gus) Stavynskyy has a vivid and unusual background. Growing up in an authoritarian and often dangerous country left a deep sensibility for justice. Arriving in America on a green card lottery, Serhiy graduated from Columbia University, served as a New York City Police Officer, and acquired a degree from Valparaiso Law School. Like many of us, he made his way to Idaho to practice law, eventually becoming Chief Deputy Prosecutor in Valley County.
We hear about a life of vastly disparate influences: his family in Russia remembering famine, growing up under communist oppression, earning experience on the rough streets of NYC, serving disadvantaged groups in Boise, and bringing a capacity for handling conflict and difficulty to our own community.
We hear about what it means to be a public servant from someone who sees and respects the distinction and privilege of that role. We hear about a life that has experienced a range of what justice can actually mean. We hear about some unique benefits of serving justice in a community like ours, where someone you’re prosecuting could be a neighbor. And oddly, how that kind of familiarity can make a difference.
Serhiy closes with a discourse on our rights as Americans, framing them in an elegant way only an immigrant may fully appreciate.