Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Takoma Park, Maryland
Takoma Park is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. The name reportedly comes from an American Indian word meaning "high up near heaven." As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 17,299.
Takoma Park was founded by Benjamin Franklin Gilbert in 1883 and incorporated in 1890. It was the first planned commuter suburb in the area, and also bore aspects of a spa and trolley park. For many years the Montgomery/Prince George's County boundary cut through the city, but pursuant to a popular referendum, in 1997 the county line was moved to include all of the city in Montgomery County, including some territory newly annexed to the city at the time. At one time an extension of Interstate 270 was proposed that would have cut the city in two. Sam Abbott and others campaigned to prevent this and were successful.
Takoma Park is located at 38°58'48" North, 77°0'8" West (38.980060, -77.002341).
The city of Takoma Park is just northeast of Washington, D.C. at latitude 38°59' North, longitude 77°0' West. The Takoma Park community (as distinct from the actual incorporated area) spills over the D.C.-Maryland line into the Takoma neighborhood of the District, but the part inside the District is politically separate from the City of Takoma Park and not given an official identity within the District of Columbia. (Benjamin Franklin Gilbert's original planned community included land on both sides of the D.C.-Maryland line.)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 km² (2.1 mi²). 5.5 km² (2.1 mi²) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water, although Sligo Creek and Long Branch (both tributaries of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River) flow through the city.
Takoma Park is an ethnically diverse city, with a large proportion of the population being recent immigrants.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 17,299 people, 6,893 households, and 3,949 families residing in the city. The population density is 3,150.6/km² (8,152.4/mi²). There are 7,187 housing units at an average density of 1,308.9/km² (3,387.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 48.79% White, 33.97% African American, 0.44% Native American, 4.36% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 7.44% from other races, and 4.97% from two or more races. 14.42% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 6,893 households out of which 30.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.5% are married couples living together, 14.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% are non-families or non-traditional families. 32.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. Takoma Park is welcoming of same-sex couples. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.13.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 35.9% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $48,490, and the median income for a family is $63,434. Males have a median income of $40,668 versus $35,073 for females. The per capita income for the city is $26,437. 10.3% of the population and 8.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.5% of those under the age of 18 and 20.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Law and government
Takoma Park is known as an extremely liberal community, sometimes called "the Berkeley of the East" ,  or, more sarcastically, "the People's Republic of Takoma Park." (It was officially declared a "nuclear-free zone" in 1983 by then Mayor Sam Abbott.) In accordance with the town's principles, the law allows even non-citizens to vote in municipal elections.
Mayor or City Executive
Takoma Park is governed by a city council comprised of a mayor and council members for each of six wards. The city administration is run by a City Manager, since 2004, Barbara Burns Matthews. The current Mayor of Takoma Park is Kathryn H. Porter (1997-). Former mayors are:
- C. M. Heaton, the first Mayor of Takoma Park.
- Benjamin Franklin Gilbert (1890-1892)
- Enoch Maris (1892-1894)
- Samuel S. Shedd (1894-1902)
- John B. Kinnear (1902-1906)
- Wilmer G. Platt (1906-1912)
- Stephens W. Williams (1912-1917)
- Wilmer G. Platt (1917-1920)
- James L. Wilmeth (1920-1923)
- Henry F. Taff (1923-1926)
- Ben G. Davis (1926-1932)
- Frederick L. Lewton (1932-1936)
- John R. Adams (1936-1940)
- Oliver W. Youngblood (1940-1948)
- John C. Post (1948-1950)
- Ross H. Beville (1950-1954)
- George M. Miller (1954-1972)
- John D. Roth (1972-1980)
- Sammie A. Abbott (1980-1985)
- Stephen J. Del Giudice (1985-1990)
- Edward F. Sharp (1990-1997)
Takoma Park has a City Council elected by wards. They serve terms of two years, and are elected in the odd years. Immigrants may register and vote in the municipal election. The members of the council elected in 2003 are:
Ward 1: Joy Austin-Lane
Ward 2: Heather R. Mizeur
Ward 3: Bruce Williams
Ward 4: Terry Seamens
Ward 5: Marc Elrich
Ward 6: Doug Barry
Colleges and universities
- Columbia Union College
- Montgomery College (Takoma Park Campus) (a 2-year institution)
- Strayer University (Takoma Park Campus), just across the state line in Takoma, DC
- Washington Theological Union , just across the state line in Takoma, DC
- Takoma Park city website
- Historic Takoma
- Takoma Voice newspaper
- The Takoma Park Gazette newspaper
- Sustainable Takoma advocacy group
- Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op food store
- Takoma Park Maryland Library
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