Candidates kick off campaign for South Orange trustees

SOUTH ORANGE — The campaign slate of Sheena Collum, Summer Jones, Jen Greenberg, and Olivia Lewis-Chang formally kicked off their runs for South Orange Board of Trustees, promising to focus on property taxes, economic development, community engagement, and sustainability.
“For the first 100 years since being incorporated in 1869, there wasn’t a single woman on the governing body,” said Collum, the first woman elected village president in 2015 and seeking her third term. “We’re still playing catch up.”
Collum went on to highlight the work achieved over the past four years, including more than $250M in commercial and mixed-use investments, a new master plan, compliance with affordable housing obligations two years ahead of schedule, back-to-back bond rating upgrades, the upcoming completion of the Baird Community Center and her hope to break ground on the new 21st-century public library by the end of the year.
Jones was first elected in 2019 and is seeking a second term as Trustee. As Chair of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, Jones led visioning sessions for the Peaks on Irvington Avenue, the Vincent Monella Community Center, the revitalization of Carter Park, and the Cameron Recreation Area.
As liaison to the Community Relations Committee, new volunteer management processes were created, and the group worked to celebrate community volunteers by reestablishing the Villager of the Month program and the Village Spotlight.
Greenberg and Lewis-Chang are new to politics.
A resident of Newstead with her blended family of five, Greenberg has served as past president of her neighborhood association and been an active member of multiple PTAs. Most recently, she served as a master plan ambassador, facilitating dialogue with community stakeholders on land use spanning the next 10-20 years. As a realtor, she hopes to support small businesses and provide more housing options.
Lewis-Chang, a 26-year resident of South Orange, has worked for 25 years as a clinical psychologist and wants to focus on mental health and wellness, referencing that New Jersey statistics show a high rate of adults and children struggling, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Within the community, Lewis-Chang helped establish the community garden, where she serves as chair and is also a commissioner on the Environmental Commission.
The South Orange municipal election will occur on Tuesday, May 9, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.