Katie Aiello-Martin is running for Utica City Council in the First Ward to create a downtown that works for all of us who live, work, and visit in downtown daily.
Advocate for Utica Businesses
As the owner of Character Coffee at 171 Genesee Street in Utica, NY, Katie has spent every day of the past two years involved in the First Ward as she builds her woman-owned business in downtown Utica. Katie has personally had the honor of getting to know her fellow entrepreneurs and the people who live and work in her district daily.
Katie’s desire to run for Utica Council in the First Ward is a direct reflection of her constituents’ needs and aspirations in creating a vibrant and healthy district for everyone.
Advocate for a Family-Friendly Downtown
As a wife and a mother to two young daughters, Genevieve (3 years old) and Giada (11 months), Katie wants to help her community strive for a downtown that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
We need to intentionally continue to build a downtown for all ages and people — through clean and safe streets, easily accessible neighborhoods, awareness of local organizations, showcasing businesses old and new, and most importantly focusing on creating a budget with our people in mind.
A budget that will support the growth of our city, while being mindful of tax burdens amongst a community where the average median household income is $32,201.
Advocate for Our Local Nonprofits
Katie is on the board of Feed Our Vets located at 205 Genesee Street in downtown Utica. FOV is a nonprofit dedicated to feeding hungry and homeless Veterans and their families — the only one of its kind in the entire country.
On a weekly basis, Katie witnesses the impact our city’s nonprofits have in feeding the hungry, helping the sick, advocating for the less fortunate, giving shelter to the homeless, and so much more.
These programs are much needed in a city like ours — where our people are facing a 31.2% poverty rate.
Advocate for Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery Awareness in Utica
Utica needs to focus on promoting good mental health, addiction and recovery awareness, and supporting those who have mental health problems to live a healthy, happy, productive life — for both our citizens and our first responders. Good health means a thriving population, but addiction and/or mental health problems can impede people's abilities to realize their potential, cope with stresses, work productively and fruitfully, and make contributions to their communities.
Mental health problems can be associated with homelessness, including in association with unemployment, poverty, substance use, and challenges with forming and maintaining stable relationships. Studies show that 30-35% of homeless people have a mental illness; nearly a quarter have more than one illness, and up to three quarters of homeless women have a mental illness.
People with mental health problems are more likely to experience distress, discrimination, marginalization, and problems with their employment, their finances, their relationships with family and friends, their physical health, and their ability to live a productive and satisfying life, engaged and participating fully in the multiple facets of their thriving urban community.
Downtown Utica is a place where people of all different backgrounds, color, and history thrive.
As such, we need to constantly focus on building a city that reflects our 42+ different spoken languages. Our diversity is one of our greatest assets in bringing together the City of Utica and creating a welcoming downtown neighborhood for every citizen.
Katie believes when we put people’s needs and rights first — real, organic, and sustainable growth follows.
As council woman, Katie would focus her efforts on bringing transparency and easily accessible information to our taxpayers, supporting businesses, while never overlooking the individual needs of our valued residents and nonprofits committed to helping our Utica citizens in need.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.
— JANE JACOBS