Utica for all of us

“This city has long been run by a few, for the sake of a few. I want a Utica that works for all of us.”

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Celeste’s Vision for Utica

I believe that democracy is stronger when we know more and participate more. And when we build that better, stronger democracy together, we create a higher quality of life for all of us who live here in Utica.

I run big, active, people-powered campaigns with dozens of Volunteers who talk to hundreds and hundreds of people. Why? Because I believe that we ought to run a campaign that reflects how I intend to govern. I believe in, and I want, the kind of democracy where we are all engaged, where everyone’s voices are heard, where we all get to be part of the decisions about how to create the city we want to live in.

Who is Celeste Friend?

Celeste is your voice and your vote in City Hall. Together, we can create CommUNITY and OpportUNITY in South Utica.

Meet Celeste

Celeste has always enjoyed her various roles and the challenges of learning new things. But maybe being a Public Servant is what she has loved the most.

Celeste first moved to the Mohawk Valley in 2002 and started spending lots of time in Utica. She fell in love with Utica because of its strong sense of community, and because she was drawn to the culture of arts and artists. She could tell that it would be a good place to build a life. In 2005, she bought her house on Emerson Ave, and decided that Utica would be home.

Join Our Team

Running an active campaign at the grassroots level is fundamental to our vision of creating a robust democracy with strong constituent engagement. Please join our campaign for a better future for Utica!


We believe in working with other groups in our community. That is why we seek the endorsements of community groups, labor unions, and political parties. We are all in this fight for a better world!

In 2021, Celeste has earned the endorsement of: The City of Utica Democratic Committee; the Working Families Party; 1199SEIU, a labor union for healthcare workers; Trailblazers PAC, a good government political action committee; Upstate Progressive PAC; ServeNY, an organization that promotes leaders with proven records of service; Citizen Action, a progressive community-organizing group dedicated to empowering citizens; UFCW District Union Local One, a labor union for food and commercial workers; CSEA Central Region 5, one of New York’s largest worker unions; Central New York Labor Council, a group that advocates for local workers; and The Sierra Club, the most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.