MEET THE HON. DUPRÉ L. KELLY
On June 14, 2022, The Honorable Dupré L. Kelly became the first platinum-selling Hip Hop artist in the United States of America to win elected office. As West Ward Councilman, he is governing where he grew. As an adolescent, he attended 13th Avenue elementary school and continued to Newark Tech (Essex County Vocational & Technical School). Not only did he play basketball but he was also co-captain of the baseball team.
Raised by a single mother, Dupré wrote songs at his home in the West Ward that would go on to sell millions of records with his group Lords Of The Underground and impacted millions of people around the world.
Dupré attended Shaw University, a HBCU located in Raleigh, North Carolina where he also pledged Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. Being a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, is where he gained his love for community.
Upon his return to Newark, NJ, Dupré started a not-for-profit organization called 211 Community Impact. Where the mission is to stimulate interest in community issues and foster action for change by providing innovative community educational programs, public policy information and resources.
Dupré independently ran for Councilman AT-Large in 2018. Although he did not win, it was not a loss. He continued to work on the community's behalf. He and his organization 211ci, implemented programs such as the Let’s Eat program, where they fed families in the West Ward and other communities by delivering over 80 thousand pounds of food. The Look Good Feel Good program, which provides free haircuts and hairstyling to young boys and girls. It also teaches them about hygiene and how to dress for different occasions, such as job interviews. The organization delivered over a thousand cases of water during Newark, NJ’s water crisis. He and his organization also acquired a Lift Bus for JFK special needs school in the West Ward. He has donated computers to Ivy Hill elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Mount Vernon Elementary and West Side High School all located in the West Ward through a partnership with the Loyalty Foundation. During the pandemic, Dupré has given out masks, gloves & sanitizers to the community. He also collaborated with celebrity painters and gave over 20 families beds through his Beds Of Art Programs, with most going to residents of the West Ward.
Today, Dupré Kelly is an accomplished platinum selling recording artist and an award-winning Community leader & Activist. He is on the board for the United Way of The Greater Newark area, the Newark Museum Advisory Board as well as the After School Allstars board. He understands the differences that are present in all areas of the West Ward because he has addressed them by showing up. He also understands that the residents need someone they can trust and will be there when things get difficult. Dupré is an Indigenous West Warder. His plan is to help revitalize the West Ward as a whole, especially its corridors. Not just brick and mortar but also by revitalizing the mindset of the people by creating programs that engage the residents to be included in the processes.
Dupré believes a sustainable quality of life is a must. “We need to expand our young people's employment opportunities through education and youth initiatives that are of interest to them. We need to reimagine senior recreation and entertainment. We also need to reevaluate legislation that’s already in place or propose new legislation that will hold small businesses and storefronts accountable for how our corridors look and are maintained”.
When Covid19 changed the landscape of how we move in our everyday lives, Dupré partnered with the health department and our local hospitals in a way the West Ward hasn’t seen. He brought medical & health awareness directly to the people with the Doc on The Block program. He also addressed the blight and uncleanliness by partnering with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and the Department of Sanitation for the Sidewalk Soldiers program. Councilman Kelly plans to introduce incentives that will create employment for residents of the community to assist in cleaning their own neighborhoods.
Dupré has received numerous awards and acknowledgments from the Newark Public Schools, as well as community organizations. He’s also received awards and acknowledgements from several New Jersey cities such as, Irvington, Paterson, East Orange, Newark, and the New Jersey State Senate & United States Congress. Dupré is also an active board member of the Newark Arts Foundation.