Meet the Mayor of Oak Park Marian McClellan

How is Oak Park dealing with the city-wide economic woes?

“You can’t cut yourself out of economic depression, you have to grow out.”

-Marian McClellan

How does a city recover from a stagnant past?

Stephen Henderson interviews the mayor of Oak Park, Marian McClellan, to find out.

McClellan says she and her council are making significant efforts to pull the city out of what she calls a “stagnant past,” such as:

  • The city’s new manager, Erik Tungate, has already saved the city and its residents over a million dollars.
  • Oak Park is working to meet the challenges of modernizing government communications and adapting to new systems. The city’s mixed-age population presents unique challenges, so city staff make sure to communicate with residents through digital and physical distribution channels. City officials keep a strong social and local media presence to connect with the community.
  • McLellan also discusses new plans for commerce and business coming to the city, thanks to manufacturing opportunities that will create more jobs for residents.

Click the play button above to hear the full conversation.


Where is Oak Park?

About Oak Park

County : Oakland
Population : 29,111 (U.S. Census, 2014)
Median Household Income: $ 48,476 (SEMCOG, 2010)
Poverty Rate: 15.7 % (SEMCOG, 2010)
Form of Government: Elected city council with appointed management.
Crime: 2,976 crimes reported (10.2 crimes per 100 residents) (Michigan Incident Crime Reporting, 2013)
Education: Oak Park Schools, high school graduation rate 58.09 % (, 2013-14)
General Fund Revenue: $19,635,299, $674 per capita (Munetrix, 2014)
Transportation (commutes): 83% drive alone, 9% carpool, 3% walk, 2% public transportation, 2% work at home, 1 % other means (SEMCOG, 2010)
Jobs: 10,781 jobs (SEMCOG, 2015) Top sector: Services to Households & Firms (2,219 jobs) (SEMCOG, 2015 forecast)
Race: White 36.9%, Black, 57.1%, Asian 1.4%, Hispanic 1.4%, Multi-racial 2.80%, Other, 0.40% (SEMCOG, 2010)
Diversity Index: 0.54 on a scale of 0 (least diverse) to 1 (most diverse) (calculation)