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Our Community will determine the next Mayor of Utica

Our Community will determine the next Mayor of Utica.

By Natalie M. Williams

The local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] Freedom Fund fundraiser dinner was held at the Roselawn Bouquet Hall in New York Mills on Sunday (October 22, 2023). The gathering was a model for racial integration: Black, ‘Colored” and White; together.

Utica NAACP President Freddie Hamilton had addressed the audience with a notation that “The Politicians know that it is Our Community that will decide the next Mayor of Utica.  That is why they are here.”  And, indeed, they were… 

The Keynote speaker Marquis Palmer  talked about the issues of gun violence, and how it is impacting the Cornhill community, the racist perceptions of black men in particular;  and the impact of this “gun violence” on the rest of society; from black shooting victimizations, policies regarding policing, punishment, and incarceration; to poverty, the lack of provision of real opportunities for jobs & education, the underfunding of youth programs, and even failures to offer humanistic sympathy in learning about the history of victimizations of all parties involved in these crimes.  

Honoree Jarrell Barton spoke on his outreach activities for assisting the needs of marginalized people.

Honoree Naz Deloach spoke on how he now has a music studio and business thanks to community education and support.

The poet laureate (yours truly), read a piece about the NAACP organization; and various community members were recognized for their service. 

It was a lovely event.

As far as politics goes.  There were major players in attendance:

The presence of Mayoral Candidates; Celeste Friend ( Democratic ), Courtney Mohammed ( Write -In ), and Robert Cardillo  ( Conservative ) was acknowledged.  

Anthony Picente ( Oneida County Executive ) and Marianne Buttenschon ( New York State Assembly Member ), The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica College, Hamilton College, and various community organization heads were also present.

The election campaign for Mayor of Utica, NY culminates on Tuesday November 7, 2023.  Mohawk Valley Community College ( MVCC ) Utica Campus will offer EARLY VOTING from October 28 through November 5, 2023.  Election Day is on November 7, 2023.  

Utica-Oneida County Branch 2167 NAACP President Freddie Hamilton is correct in her observationOur Community – CORNHILL – where the ‘Colored People’ are; WILL DETERMINE THE OUTCOME OF THE UTICA NY MAYORAL RACE.  

And with it, The Power to Politically AND Economically Empower Ourselves.  

Frederick Douglas once said : “ Power Concedes Nothing Without Demand:  It Never Has, and It Never Will ”.

Millions of dollars were recently denied to our community by City of Utica and Oneida County administrators.  This is our opportunity to elect a mayor who will be responsive to our concerns.


“Colored people” were historically denied the right to vote in this country.  After centuries of struggle; from chattel slavery to emancipation, segregation, limitation and discrimination we find ourselves privileged to be in this position at this time in history.   Many Civil Rights advocates marched, fought and died for the privilege of The Ballot. Do not dishonor their legacy; take advantage of your privilege to VOTE !

Information provided by the Candidates:





EARLY VOTING:  October 28th through November 5th. 

Utica MVCC Jorgenson Athletic Center

Election Day is November 7th.


Because….   U T I C A   Starts with  YOU !

UticaPhoenix.Net Report by Natalie M. Williams. November 1, 2023


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