Today’s Community Superhero is Albert Kelly, mayor of Bridgeton!
Every other Thursday, he encourages residents to walk with him and stops door-to-door to see what concerns and issues residents may have.
To remain proactive with the issues, he has an anonymous tip line in place as an outlet to report abuse, neglect and crime. Kelly is currently in the process of establishing an interactive website similar to that of Camden’s, where residents can not only submit reports anonymously, but are also able to go back and check to see if any action was taken.
He feels that it’s extremely important to maintain communication with residents and give them every opportunity to voice not only their issues, but to be proud of where they live as well.
Kelly says, “It’s all about being proactive, all about communicating.”
One of the major concerns Mayor Kelly has about the city is the health of the residents. With Cumberland County being the unhealthiest county in the state, he strives to take every measure necessary to get the community healthy. On June 15, the city will be holding a healthy walk and he encourages families to participate. Events such as this are the opportunities the community needs to feel like a part of something, to be involved.
Kelly sees the potential in each and every child. He visits Bridgeton Public Schools on a regular basis and shares what he’s doing to improve the city, answers questions and asks the students to write letters to him with their opinions and suggestions.
The letters range in topic from bullying, making the city cleaner, gaining more stores downtown, and increasing the size of the Cohanzick Zoo. A favorable suggestion by one of the students was to add giraffes to the zoo. I can’t say that’s a bad idea! Who doesn’t like to see giraffes?!
One of the students asked, “If you could be mayor of any city in America, what city would it be?”
Faithfully, Kelly answered, “Bridgeton. I was born and raised here and I love this town.” Worth repeating, he says, “I love my town.”
These letters are not brushed aside, Kelly takes the opinions of the students seriously. He says, “Kids are very well-informed. They want a safer city. I wish parents could collectively see through the eyes of children.”
So, how does he feel we can conquer such a task?
Kelly is headed in the right direction by involving the parents in the activities and events that the children feel so passionate about. By staying involved with your children’s interests, you gain that sense of pride so desperately needed to make a city healthy and thrive.
He integrates the schools by having students participate in essay contests. The upcoming essay contest will be, “What does Memorial day mean to you?” Awards will be distributed at the parade and the winning essay will be read aloud.
Mayor Kelly is a proud, self-proclaimed, “Chief cheerleader on behalf of the city.”
Every year, he takes it upon himself to make sure the city raises enough money to have a fireworks display. He also makes sure the parades still march on as scheduled. Imagine living in a town without activities. These events are what brings the residents out of their homes, out in the light to see what their city is about and build the sense of pride so desperately needed to maintain a healthy community.
Kelly says, “I want people to say they’re from Bridgeton as a point of pride, and not have to defend themselves.”
Mayor Kelly is a community superhero because he doesn’t stop with the duties of mayor. He reaches out and uses the powers he has been given to touch the lives of those around him. He sees the potential of our children and works diligently to give them a better foundation for their futures. Kelly wants a stronger community and will stop at nothing to get there. It was very obvious while sitting and talking with him, just how much not only the city means to him, but our community as a whole. He made it quite clear that this is an effort we must all be active in.
Do you know of a Community Superhero? Help CASA of CGS recognize the effort put forth by them to improve our community!
Email Jennifer Kaysen at Jennkaysen@gmail.com.
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Are you ready, Superheroes?
Don’t miss this opportunity to have fun, get silly, and support our cause! Our children need every bit of support we can give! you can easily register online here: https://wespeakupforchildren.org/registration/
If you register before the big day, you’ll receive a t-shirt!
CASA of CGS is holding informational meetings! Please join us!
If you’re interested in learning more about CASA of CGS, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumberland County ranked last place in Child Welfare in New Jersey. Let’s stand up for our children and do something about it!