McClanahan, Molly

former member, Fullerton City Council





Field Value
ID 47
Title An oral history with Molly McClanahan
Date 2016-06-23
OH ID OH 5856
Citation Molly McClanahan interviewed by Abby Waldrop, June 23, 2016, Fullerton, California, Oral History #5856, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:10 UTC
Location Fullerton, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Grandparents
Colleges → California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
Community Organizations → League of Women Voters (LWV)
City Council → Fullerton City Council
Elections → Campaigning
Elections → Local Elections
Historic Periods → 1980s
Leadership → Female versus Male Leadership
Work → Gendered Work
Sexism → Sexism in the Workplace
Community Organizations → Democrats of North Orange County (DNOC)
Community Organizations → California Federation of Republican Women (CRFW)
Activism → Education Activism
Elected Officials → Mayoral
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Housing → Affordable Housing
Elections → Recall Elections


An oral history with Molly McClanahan, former Fullerton City Councilmember and President of the North Orange County Community College District. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview was gather information regarding her time on the Fullerton City Council. Specifically, this interview talks about growing up in Arroyo Grande, California, and memories of the World War II home front; shares how she met her husband; her decision to join the League of Women Voters; explains why she ran for the Fullerton City Council, her campaign strategy, and reaction to winning the election; how acquaintances responded to her running for political office; talks about her first days on the city council and what issues were most important to her; how she was received by her male colleagues; talks about the political climate in Fullerton when she took office and experience of being the only democrat on the council; talks about her allies on the council and primary legislative goals; experience of her recall election in 1994 and her reaction; differences between being a councilmember vs. mayor; what she’s most proud of her from her time on the city council; her work with the Fullerton Youth Employment Service and the YWCA; experience of running for Congress in 1992 and she reacted to losing that election; describes her leadership style; what it takes to be a successful elected official; differences between how men and women lead; how she balanced her home and professional life; why it’s important for women to be involved in politics; defines feminism; how Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election would impact future women running for office; reflects on why there are so few women in elected office; describes feminism; how her political service influenced her life; shares advice for women interested in going into politics; and finally, talks about the importance of community colleges.


Field Value
File Name 5856_P02_online.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 33903
Description> Molly McClanahan, 2016.
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File Name 5856_P11.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1238014
Description> Molly McClanahan during her oral history interview, 2016.