We support Celeste Friend’s candidacy for Utica’s mayoral race. As citizens of Utica for 36 years, we see all of the other candidates represent “old school” Utica politics — more of the same. Each of them cites having been born and raised here as a reason for voting for them. Of course, they had no choice in that. Like us, Celeste Friend actually chose to live in Utica when she moved to the area two decades ago because she saw the potential this holds.
An artist, an educator, a small business owner and the director of a major annual mid-state arts festival, Celeste has important skills and fresh ideas for a city poised to come into its own in ways not seen since the Erie Canal put Utica on the map 200 years ago.
She is for involving everyone in the decision-making of and the services provided by local government — not just the same few, but all of us.
She is committed to transparency in government and has proved herself adept at communication with her constituents as Third Ward councilperson, publishing monthly newsletters and responding directly to requests and inquiries.
She has a vision for the Utica of the next decade and beyond and has the leadership skills and intellectual wherewithal to make that vision a reality.
We urge you to make Celeste Friend the first woman mayor of this great city by voting for her in the upcoming primary June 27.
— Rev. Dennis Dewey and Susan Dewey, Utica