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I’m building a Utica for all of us, with all of us.

My Story

I first arrived in Utica over 20 years ago, and fell in love with the City. In 2005, I made a commitment to this city I loved by buying a house on Emerson Ave. Utica was home and I was home to stay. I loved it for its size, for the beauty of the Mohawk Valley, for the vibrant arts scene, the cultural diversity, and the great food. Most of all, I loved the people who were now my neighbors and her fellow Uticans. Everywhere I went in Utica, I met people who were passionately committed to this City and welcomed me in. I was inspired by their commitment to this city, and I have done the same for new arrivals since.

As a union member of United University Professions, I’ve seen the power working people can wield when we work together and engage our young people in the community. Running the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival and working with Levitt Amp, I’ve had the opportunity to see the impact our vibrant local arts scene has on our culture and economy. As a small business owner selling my handmade jewelry, I’ve seen how stiff the competition can be and how important it is to support local businesses.

This work is important to me because I’ve seen how having only a few people make decisions for the rest of us holds our community back, and what we can achieve when we work together. I never thought I’d run for political office, especially when the small group of people in power have been there for so long. But in 2019 when we won a seat on the Common Council, our movement showed the power Uticans have when we come together.

As the youngest of seven in a family with parents who had diverse life experiences like serving in World War II, farming chickens, teaching young people, and working as a librarian, I was raised to see the value everyone in a community can offer. I’m Utica Proud not just because of what we’ve done, but because I know what we can do.


We’re building a city for all on the foundations laid by Utica’s proud history. Utica has long been a diverse city with people from across the world seeking a better life, but not everyone has had a seat at the table. Together, we’re changing that.

Our city is in a resurgence as one of only two upstate cities that’s growing. We will continue that growth with a transparent democracy that includes all our communities and ensures the rising tide lifts all boats. Uticans of all ages, abilities, incomes, and ethnicities deserve a livable, affordable community where they can safely walk, roll, bike, or drive to meet all their daily needs. We’ll support workers across the city in meeting their needs, uplift our young people, and foster a strong creative and cultural economy. As the climate changes and our city continues to grow, we’ll build and maintain a sustainable community that creates good jobs and gives our children an even better life than our own. We will put working people first, whether white, Black, or brown.

We believe Utica’s best days are ahead of us, and we need your help. Join our movement.

Our Accomplishments

Celeste believes in the power of communication. She believes that democracy is stronger, and we are empowered as citizens, when we are kept informed. So she writes a regular monthly newsletter that keeps people informed of business before the Council, how she votes, and other important information about Utica. She also writes a series of newsletters called “How Utica Works,” which explains various functions of city government. Sign up today and be in the loop!

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