Letters From Neighbors: Friends and neighbors throughout South Utica/3rd Ward are excited to vote for and support Celeste. Many of them are writing letters to express that support. Leading up to the November 5th election, these letters will be distributed in the neighborhood.
1) Dear Friends and Neighbors:
The election for Utica Common Council is coming up, and we are very excited that our friend Celeste Friend is running for a seat on the Council to represent the Third Ward. Celeste is smart, very committed to everything she does, and she cares deeply about all things Utica. She would make an excellent councilperson! She wants to add energy and reason to Utica politics by encouraging civic engagement. She has touched the hearts and minds of so many Uticans in her district already, and she has instilled excitement and hope for the future of our city. She would be a strong voice for a responsible, responsive, and transparent government. She is a vitally energetic person who teaches philosophy, makes jewelry, works on her house, and she loves dogs and cats! We hope that you will vote for Celeste on Tuesday November 5. She would be a strong voice on the Utica Common Council.
Thank you, Barbara Gold and Carl Rubino Prospect Street Utica, NY
2) Dear Friends and Neighbors: We are voting for Celeste Friend for Utica Common Council District 3. While most council members are reactive and wait for complaints, Celeste has a vision for the district for the future.
Where others see vacant lots, Celeste sees mini parks. Where others see lopsided buildings in settled neighborhoods, Celeste sees economic development in the Arts.
Where City officials mandate change from the top down, Celeste sees Uticans debating and selecting appropriate changes. Utica’s future is not about the council remaining remote from its constituents — it’s about us mandating change.
Celeste Friend for Utica’s future.
Joan and Bill Blanchfield Sunset Ave. Utica, NY
3) August, 2019 Dear Neighbor,
This is just a brief note to encourage you to support Celeste Friend, who is running to represent the Third Ward on the Utica Common Council.
Celeste is a believer in what she terms “Robust Democracy” – a deeply participatory approach to local government that involves bringing more people into the process, encouraging constituents to become more engaged in how our city is run, and fighting for greater transparency in governance at every level. She is determined to make the Common Council and, by extension, all of city government more responsive to its constituents, and she has the intelligence and the energy to make it happen.
We have lived in South Utica for more than thirty years, and in that time we have seldom had the opportunity to interact with our Common Council members unless they were looking for our votes. Celeste Friend is different. She is eager to partner with all of us in making Utica a more livable, more prosperous city, and we can’t wait to get started.
Please join us in supporting Celeste Friend for Utica Common Council, Third Ward, this November 5th, and thanks. Sincerely, Joe Perry / Karen Morse Utica, NY
4) October, 2019 Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On November 5th we intend to vote for Celeste Friend to represent South Utica’s 3rd Ward on the Utica City Council. We hope you will too.
Like all Utica neighborhoods, ours has its own unique needs and challenges. We must have someone on the City Council who thoroughly understands our interests and will fight for what we need. Celeste is that person.
Over the last several months Celeste has brought more passion and energy to this election than we’ve seen in years. She’s working hard to meet every voter and hear everyone’s concerns. She is committed to making city government more transparent, open, and responsive. Utica is changing – for the better – and the civic engagement and citizen participation that Celeste advocates every day is essential to our success.
We urge you to support Celeste Friend for the Utica City Council.
Cindy and Ray Bepko Beverly Place Utica, NY
5) Marlene Davis Diane P. Jones Emerson Ave. Utica, New York October 2019
Dear Neighbors: We have been neighbors of Celeste Friend for over twelve years and could not ask for a better neighbor. We find that Celeste is very conscientious and concerned not only with the safety but also the aesthetic character of city block, greater community and city. A few years ago Celeste organized a “clean up” for our block. She provided cleaning items we would need and also provided light refreshments, pulling together a community of diverse neighbors who worked together toward a common goal.
Celeste also boldly dialogues with City agencies to further improve our block like Codes, and Traffic Enforcement. Celeste routinely keeps us informed about elections taking place and often has candidates come to her home for a ‘meet and greet’ for her friends and neighbors. Celeste is a champion not only for her community but the city, county and state. She protects her community and is a strong leader. She rolls up her sleeves and gets involved. She would be an excellent addition to the Utica Common Council Ward 3.
Marlene Davis Diane P. Jones
6) October 2019
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
To see Celeste Friend is to see a thorough and caring dynamo who abounds with ideas and has the energy and determination to see them through successfully. She has a strong and abiding interest in politics.
She will bring all of her ideas,thoroughness, energy, caring and determination to the City of Utica Common Council.
Celeste also works well with others. She will listen to and understand her constituents and fight their fights. Yet, to get things done, she will also know how to work and communicate well with her Common Council colleagues and our Mayor.
Celeste Friend, we know her well, is an untiring advocate for our great city.
Sincerely, Frank & Frances Giruzzi Arlington Rd. Utica NY
7) Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Forrest Gump famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Well, I know EXACTLY what you’re gonna get with Celeste Friend – an intelligent, hard-working, and passionate public servant.
It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of support, because I have witnessed her in action. Her enthusiasm, clear purpose, and dedication to the success of every member of our community is truly inspiring. Her broad vision of democracy and commitment to being our voice in government is a welcome change to Utica’s status quo.
She proves her dedication every day by going door to door, introducing herself to us, and listening to our concerns. Our issues are her issues too: support for small locally owned businesses, infrastructure including roads and sewers, and a government that is open to everybody instead of just the same old insiders.
South Utica needs Celeste's fresh, independent voice now more than ever. We deserve a hands-on representative who will work hard, listen to our input, and truly represent us in city hall. I enthusiastically support Celeste Friend for Utica’s 3rd Ward and encourage you to join me in voting for her on November 5, 2019.
Pam Jardieu Seward Ave. Utica, NY
8) Dear Neighbor, As an Arts and Equality advocate for all of my adult life, I am proud to put my support behind the candidacy of someone who shares those passions. I am voting for Celeste Friend for the position of Common Council representative for our district. She is a strong proponent of street level democracy, door to door dialogues, and speaking truth to power.
I admire the well thought out campaign strategies she has set forth and the hard work she has done to bring them to fruition. She has amassed strong support and an extensive volunteer base who share her commitment. Please join me in electing this excellent candidate to work on the future health and prosperity of our neighborhoods.
Lynne Mishalanie Milton Place Utica, NY 1350
9) Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are looking forward to voting for Celeste Friend for 3rd Ward Common Council this November.
Celeste is actively hitting the streets of the 3rd ward to find out what the issues are so as soon as she is elected she can get to work to help resolve them. Celeste has the grass-roots, activist mentality that we need to solve the issues of the 3rd ward, as well as the creative intellect to help grow and improve Utica for the future. She sees the potential in the city and has the positive attitude it takes to help us succeed.
We urge everyone in the 3rd ward to reach out to Celeste and share your thoughts. Listen to what she has to say, and we’re certain you will agree, she’s a great choice to represent our neighborhoods.
Jeff and Dannelle Parker Greenwood Ct. Utica, NY
10) Holland Avenue Utica, NY 13501
September 1, 2019
Dear Neighbors, We are writing to tell you why we support Celeste Friend to represent the 3rd Ward on the Utica Common Council. Celeste, a fellow resident of the neighborhood, has ideas to make the Ward and the city more livable and more walkable. She wants to keep sidewalks safe and clear, to enforce codes, to promote small businesses and the arts, and to build a greater sense of community.
But her biggest idea is to communicate with and listen to others in the Ward. Celeste is not satisfied with an entrenched and opaque city government. Instead, she wants to foster an informed and robust democracy, wherein the city keeps citizens informed about issues that may affect them, and constituents have the chance to be involved in decisions and to make their voices heard. We have personally seen that Celeste is open and approachable and that she will thoughtfully consider others’ ideas and opinions. We are confident she can bring this approach to the Common Council.
Celeste is intelligent, energetic, dedicated, and creative. She is an artist who runs her own business, an adjunct at SUNY Poly, and Executive Director of the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival. In her campaign, Celeste has already demonstrated enthusiasm, organization, and a desire to involve constituents. She has been out early in the season, knocking on doors, sharing information, seeking opinions and making personal contact.
We encourage you to read about Celeste’s campaign (https://www.uticaforall.com/), to contact her (or us) and, most importantly, to vote for Celeste Friend on November 5th.
Sincerely, Glenn Philip Smith Theresa Smith Holland Ave, Utica
11) Dear Friends and Neighbors, We are excited to support Celeste Friend’s candidacy to represent South Utica’s 3rd Ward on the Utica Common Council. Celeste is dedicated to transparent local government and to active engagement with our community. She will back up these commitments by holding weekly constituent hours to listen to and discuss our concerns. Celeste works tirelessly for the betterment of our community and its infrastructure, and she is passionate about making Utica the most vibrant and livable city possible. Her vision for our city supports local businesses while investing in flood mitigation and repairing our streets and sidewalks. Celeste has a strong record of service to our community and she will serve us well on the Common Council.
If you haven’t already, we hope you will take the time to get to know Celeste!
Julie Gederos and Jesse Weiner Ferris Ave. Utica, NY
12) Dear Friends & Neighbors, We take voting in local elections very seriously and have been voting in the city of Utica for over 40 years. We learn a little about a candidate's biography in the brief interviews in the OD, but little about their views on local issues. Maybe the candidate knocks on our door and we learn a bit more. Once elected, we hear nothing further from them until the next election.
Celeste Friend will be different. She plans to have an advisory group, that will include constituents from the 3rd Ward. She also plans to have a newsletter discussing issues facing the 3rd Ward and will share her views on them. Once elected, Celeste won't disappear. She will remain a presence. Like us she is not a native Utican, but her love for the city and her optimism for its future is unmatched. She will be a wonderful addition to the Common Council.
Pamela and Paul Schulman Douglas Crescent, Utica
13) Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Election Day is nearly upon us and I have never felt so enthusiastic about voting for a South Utica representative to the Common Council in my 25+ years of living in Ward 3. What’s different this year? Celeste Friend is running for the seat.
Celeste is a longtime resident of this neighborhood and sincerely cares about the quality of life for its residents. She is a champion for our vibrant community, supports investment in businesses and arts organizations, and seeks to develop green spaces.
I am quite impressed by the well-organized campaign Celeste has conducted since this summer. She and her volunteers have visited homes throughout the ward to listen to our concerns and to share her vision for our future together. I know she will bring this unflagging energy to the Common Council, to speak with sincere conviction on our behalf.
South Uticans! Please join me in voting for Celeste Friend for Utica Common Council on November 5.
Mary Murray 12 Rose Place Utica, NY
14) Dear Friends and Neighbors, I am writing to invite you to join me in voting for Celeste Friend for Utica Common Council for the Third Ward on Tuesday, November 5th! Utica is on the move and we need a voice in the city that is willing to listen to all ideas. I believe Celeste is that voice and that is why I am voting for her. I hope you will join me this Election Day to keep Utica moving forward.