WHM Extra: Award-Winning Mayor Jamila Odoms Looks to the Future at Chesilhurst


Photo courtesy of Jamila Odoms.


CHESILHURSTMayor Jamila A. Odoms hopes that her historic turn leading the borough of Chesilhurst will inspire young girls and people of color like her to rise to new levels of leadership and service.

Odoms in November became the first Black woman to serve a full term as mayor and win re-election in the borough.

READ: Jamila Odoms Make Connections

“Seeing where I came from as an African American woman and where I’ve been, I hope they can see if I can make it here, then they can too,” Odoms told Front Runner New Jersey.com last month during Women’s History Month. “It means a lot to me to be here because there’s a lot of adversity out there.”

Advertisement. See video on front page of Front Runner New Jersey.com.

Odoms, who survived her first husband dying to gun violence before her turn to politics, had been a member of Chesilhurst Borough Council since 2012 before she became mayor in 2020.

“It’s not easy but it can be done,” she said. “I couldn’t have done this alone. I have an amazing team who have helped me and I’m so grateful to have them. I could not have done this without them and we’re looking forward to a great second term.”

Odoms this week won the Outstanding Elected Official Award from the New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women. The award will be given during the organization’s Peg Roberts Awards Luncheon at Pines Manor in Edison from noon to 4 p.m. on May 18.

While Odoms, the daughter of retired First Baptist Church of Chesilhurst Pastor Charles Odom and wife Jannie, counts new numerous infrastructure improvements around the borough as some of the top achievements as mayor, she said none of it could have been with a strong team. Odoms said she was proud of everyone who took part in improving Chesilhurst over the last few years.

“I think we did a lot over the past four years,” Odoms said. She said she wants to concentrate on a new municipal complex. She also praised a new school for 3-4-year-olds that is opening in Chesilhurst.

In 2000, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Southern New Jersey Chapter honored Odoms with a prestigious Candace Award. In 2011, she received the Community Award from the Camden County Freeholders for her work to end hunger in the county.

Odom’s enthusiasm and passion to serve will continue to make Chesilhurst a better place.

Mayor Jamila Odoms at the Mayor’s Ball in January. Photo courtesy of Jamila Odoms.

Follow Us Today On:





Note from AC JosepH Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New Jersey.com, lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on SUPPORT FRNJ and make a contribution that will go directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *