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Bridgeton Mayor Named New Jersey Heartland Hero

For decades, Bridgeton Mayor Albert B. Kelly has been assisting individuals from all walks of life through his dedicated work in the community—in his professional, public sector, or volunteer roles. For his continued commitment to the South Jersey region, New Jersey’s Heartland has named Mayor Kelly as its December 2022 Heartland Hero.

Since Mayor Kelly founded the Gateway Community Action Partnership in 1984, the nonprofit social services agency has become one of the largest of its kind in the state, serving more than 56,000 low- to moderate-income residents through a variety of important programs. Headquartered in Bridgeton, Gateway has more than 40 programs, including initiatives to support needy residents, young children, families, seniors, local communities, literacy services, and more. Other programs offer help in relation to housing, transportation, scholarships, Head Start/Early Head Start, emergency shelter, winter warming sites, and home energy assistance.

With Gateway sites in all four counties within New Jersey’s Heartland (in addition to locations in other parts of South Jersey and in Pennsylvania), Mayor Kelly has helped expand the agency’s services to families and individuals across the state, affecting significant change in our region.

As mayor of Bridgeton since 2010, when he became the city’s first African-American mayor, Mayor Kelly has spearheaded many initiatives to revitalize the city and Cumberland County as a whole. Some of those initiatives include redevelopment projects, environmental projects, increasing job opportunities, community safety, and attracting new businesses.

Additionally, Mayor Kelly is a dedicated advocate for his Cumberland County community. He has volunteered and been appointed to numerous boards, regularly writes about issues that affect his community for local newspaper and website columns, and is hands-on when it comes to addressing and acting on many issues such as youth homelessness, food insecurity and youth violence. He is deeply involved in his church and serves as a chaplain for Inspira Hospital and the local police department.

Through the years, Mayor Kelly has been recognized for his extraordinary commitment to human and community services with numerous honors and awards on the local, state, and national levels.

For the support he has provided to countless individuals and families, as well as the inspiration he continues to be for the entire region, New Jersey Heartland proudly honors Mayor Albert B. Kelly as the December 2022 Heartland Hero.

While New Jersey’s Heartland is filled with hidden gems, its biggest treasures are the people who make the region a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family. To nominate your Heartland Hero, visit