Become Informed


BecomeInformed1000x531

The first step of community engagement in civic affairs is to provide opportunities in which the public can gain awareness, interest and knowledge of the City's services, programs, announcements, and events. At the City of Oak Park, we aim to provide the community with efficient dissemination of information that is accurate, relevant, easy to understand, appealing, timely and appropriate. The ultimate objective of our communications is to foster an informed, supportive and knowledgeable public. By doing so, we increase the collective awareness within the community and enhance the well-being of the community at large.  

An informed society is one that can make informed decisions, interact with knowledge, participate with purpose, and contribute with intent.  We take great pride in opening the lines of communications to best meet the needs of the community we serve. In today's increasingly social environment, there are many more ways in which to obtain information from the City. We realize that not everyone chooses to log onto a computer, connect to mobile devices, interact on social media, or open emails to obtain their information. However, we offer opportunities to those that do, and for those that don't. Here are some ways we offer to help community members obtain the information they need to connect with City programs, learn about City services, keep abreast of new developments, prepare for emergencies, and plan for City events.


Calendars

In December of every year, the City disseminates a City Calendar to every resident and business within the City of Oak Park. This calendar is usually delivered and attached to the door of the residence or business by a delivery service.  There are a few apartment complexes that do not allow the delivery service to deliver within their complex, but they usually allow the service to provide an adequate number of calendars to the complex's management office with apartment managers willing to make the calendars available to the residents of the complex. If you do not receive your calendar by the end of the first week in January, you may want to check with your complex manager first before calling the City.  Calendars are also available at City Hall, the Oak Park Library and the Oak Park Recreation Center for those who did not receive one.  For your convenience, we keep a copy of the printed Calendar online at City CalendarsOr, you can peruse the online calendar at Calendar.


City Directory

When in need of a City service or to inquire about a City program, it is often helpful to know what department handles which concerns. The City Directory is designed online to provide community members with a way to directly connect with the department that best represents their concern. To access this resource, visit City Directory.  To learn more about the various City departments, download The Resident Handbook (PDF).


eBlasts

From time to time, the City sends an eBlast directly to community members through their email. The eBlast allows the City to communicate in real-time on pressing issues and emergent conditions. For example, if the City Manager has a major announcement, he will often send the announcement via eBlast to the community members before he even sends the press release to the media. Monthly, the Mayor writes a Mayor's Message to keep the community abreast of City activities. The Calendar of Events is eBlasted on the first day of the month to remind residents of the upcoming month's activities. And, if the City is experiencing an emergent situation - inclement weather, public safety alert, snow emergency, construction project, or road closure - an eBlast is issued to help spread the communication in real-time.  By law, you must opt-in to receive eBlasts through your email. To sign-up, visit Community eBlast Sign-Up. Designate which types of messages you would like to receive and through which devices (i.e., text message, voice message or email.)


Community Resource Guide (PDF)

The Community Resource Guide is a publication of the Department of Community Engagement and Public Information that lists a directory of community resources. To download a copy of this guide, visit Community Resource Guide (PDF).


Emergency Notifications

As the need may arise, the City provides emergency notification and community announcements to community members. From time-to-time, the City provides information on power outages, street closures, public safety matters, and weather alerts. We provide community members with a choice of receiving text message notifications, robocall voicemails, and emails.  To enroll for Emergency Notifications and Announcements, visit Emergency Notifications.


Events

The Department of Community Engagement and Public Information houses a library of upcoming community events and promotions. For a list of upcoming events, please feel free to bookmark this page and visit often. We update the list as new events and promotions become available. For an updated list of events, visit City Events.


Marquees

The City showcases snippets of information on two marquees, also known as electronic billboards, stationed in two locations within the City. These marquees are used to remind the public of upcoming events, City programs and public service announcements. The marquees are located at:

The northwest corner of Coolidge and Oak Park Blvd.
The northwest corner of Coolidge and Nine Mile Road


Media Advisories and Press Releases

In an effort to announce major developments, promote an upcoming event, or address a public concern, the City issues media advisories and press releases. A media advisory is an announcement of and invitation to the media of an event or promotion that may or may not be a public event, while a press release issued to the news media shares a newsworthy announcement for new developments that may include a new initiative, new service, construction projects, public safety update, departmental progress, or an new economic development, to name a few. When the City issues a notification to the press, we make them available to the public at Media Advisories and Press Releases.


OakAlert

As community members residing in Oakland County, residents and business owners are urged to promote and use the County’s OakAlert System. This is an emergency alert system to efficiently notify those in Oakland County to specific types of incidents (i.e., imminent or perceived threats to life or property, disaster notifications, evacuation notices, public health emergencies and public safety emergencies). With this system, a person can self-register on the County's secure website using a username and password of their choice. When registering, the site will prompt users to choose a preferred method of accepting notifications, which includes email and text messaging. For more information or to register, visit OakAlert.


Newsletters

The Department of Community Engagement and Public Information produces a bi-monthly, printed newsletter that is distributed to every household and business in the City of Oak Park via U.S. Postal Service delivery. The newsletter contains valuable news and information about City initiatives, progress, services and events. To access online past editions of the newsletter, visit The Branch Newsletter.


Resident Handbook

If you are new to the City of Oak Park, or a current resident unsure of which City department handles what types of services and programs, the Resident Handbook could be a valuable resource to have. The Resident Handbook is a reference guide on City Administration, City Council and City Departments. It overviews many of the services and programs that are available to the community through the City municipal offices. To download your copy, visit Resident Handbook (PDF).


Video and Broadcast Productions

The City produces a number of video and broadcast productions that are available either live or in video format. For example, the City films the twice-monthly City Council meetings and transmits them live on USTREAM for interested community members to view. The City also makes the City Council meetings available online on YouTube and USTREAM for later viewing. In addition, the City produces programs like "Meeting with the City Manager" which is a filmed interview between the City Manager and a guest speaker about a wonderful development within the City. Or, we post videos of programs, services, announcements and events for viewers to enjoy at their convenience. These videos can be found online at YouTube or USTREAM and are viewable on the City's Comcast Cable Station, OPTV15 and OPTV16. To receive a notice when a new video is posted online, subscribe to our YouTube channel. For more information, visit Video and Broadcast Productions.


Website News Feed

With our new website, City Departments are able to post their latest news stories. When they do, our website automatically adds the news story to our website newsfeed. The news feed is a list of news sound bites in chronological order by date of post.  To stay abreast of the latest news, bookmark our website news feeds to periodically check on our newest news soundbites.