South Orange Village Trustee Candidate Profile: Olivia Lewis-Chang

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The South Orange Municipal Election will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Up for election: Village President and three seats on the South Orange Village Board of Trustees (a six-person governing body). Terms are for four years. There is one candidate for Village President — Sheena Collum (incumbent) — and three candidates for BOT: Summer Jones (incumbent), Olivia Lewis-Chang and Jennifer Greenberg. The four are running together and unopposed. Candidates are invited to send profiles/statements. The following is from Lewis-Chang:

Olivia Lewis-Chang

Olivia Lewis-Chang is a 26-year resident of South Orange and has been passionate about community building and the environment for many years. She serves as a commissioner on the South Orange Environmental Commission and is an active member of the Tree Committee. In 2011, she helped lead the establishment of the South Orange Community Garden and now serves as the Garden’s Chair.

A longtime community activist, Olivia Lewis-Chang was a Master Plan Ambassador in 2019, where she facilitated meetings within her neighborhood to help frame the future of South Orange. Olivia also served on the first Irvington Avenue Advisory Committee, which was responsible for the rebranding of her neighborhood as Seton Village. In 2021, she was elected as the Democratic District Leader for District 11.

Olivia Lewis-Chang is committed to removing the stigma around mental illness. She hopes to partner with local agencies, stakeholders, fellow psychologists, and psychiatrists to motivate changes in our schools and community. In the larger community, Olivia serves as a mentor on the Honor’s Committee at Rutgers University, Newark College of Arts & Sciences.

Olivia’s love for the environment is evident in her commitment to learning about horticulture and our changing climate and environment. She has been certified as a master gardener and is currently completing certification as an environmental steward through Rutgers University. As a Trustee, Olivia hopes to create initiatives focused on green infrastructure and educating the next generation of environmentally conscious citizens. Olivia is the creator of Bloom Seton Village, an ongoing project to decrease our carbon footprint and beautify the Seton Village neighborhood.

Olivia is one of the many residents concerned about how to remain in place as she ages. She believes that developing plans for seniors, special needs communities, and economically disadvantaged individuals and families is of tremendous importance, and she hopes to work in the area of housing and social services.

Professionally, Olivia Lewis-Chang, PhD. is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice. She graduated from Rutgers University with College Honors and Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, with a concentration in clinical child and family psychology.

Olivia is an avid reader, gardener and enjoys good food and spending time at the beach. She is married to Michael Chang, and together they have raised Adam and Cassandra. They are parenting again with their nephew Obrian. Her latest achievement is being the proud grandmother of Aurora Rose.

The South Orange Municipal Election will take place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

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