Joel Odom, the youngest candidate to run for mayor in Charlotte, was discovered lifeless in his residence this week. The reason for his dying continues to be unknown. However the magnitude of Odom’s impression has been acknowledged neighborhood leaders and organizations in Charlotte.
The Harvey B. Gantt Heart for African-American Arts + Tradition in Charlotte, North Carolina tweeted their condolences to Odom’s household. The Gantt heart is known as after Charlotte’s first African-American mayor.
“We’re surprised. Joel Odom has handed away at 22 years previous. He was the youngest candidate in Charlotte’s 2019 mayoral race at 20, however he was rather more than that. This younger man’s drive and tenacity are exemplary for each era. Our hearts and love exit to the Odom household.”
Changing into the Youngest Mayoral Candidate in Charlotte
Odom no means allowed his age to restrict his impression. In 2019, Joel Odom made historical past because the youngest particular person to ever run for Charlotte mayor. Regardless of doubts from voters who could have believed Odom was too younger, he was up for the problem.
“I’m excited to show all these people flawed,” Odom shared with WBTV Charlotte on the time. “To indicate them that I’ve what it takes to be that chief.”
At age 20, Odom introduced his marketing campaign to unseat Democratic incumbent Vi Lyles within the 2019 major race. Odom completed fourth in a discipline of 5 Dems, accumulating 3.6 p.c of the vote.
“We all know the particular person with probably the most endorsements doesn’t all the time win,” Odom instructed The Charlotte Observer. “What motivated me to run is seeing so many younger individuals dying on the road.”
Inspiring the Subsequent Era of Leaders
Odom could have solely been 22-years-old however his braveness impressed a whole era of younger voters in Charlotte.
“Somebody has to encourage younger individuals,” Odom shared with WBTV in 2019. “That’s the one resolution. Somebody has to essentially care concerning the people in Charlotte and I care.”
Odom helped youthful voters get entangled within the political course of. He grew to become an agent for change, encouraging all to defy what they believed was unimaginable.
“Nothing’s unimaginable,” Odom shared with The Charlotte Submit. “All you must do is strive. I’m going to maintain making an attempt. The primary factor is I care about individuals and I put myself on the market to do one thing. I’m not sitting round saying [young people] don’t vote and all these items. I voted in each election. My great-grandparents taught me the significance of voting and I do know my historical past. I do know the place I come from, so something’s attainable. God leads my steps.”
Odom was a member of the Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The chair of the group, Stephanie Sneed, shared the facility of his impression at solely 22-years-old. “At such a younger age, he was a staple locally and an influencer in Charlotte politics, even if he was not an elected official,” Sneed shared with The Charlotte Submit. “His bodily absence leaves an important void.”