A summary of Sammie Abbott's legacy, taken from the text of the plaque installed
at the Takoma Park Community Center/Sam Abbott Citizens' Center on April 14, 2015

Mayor Sammie Abdullah Abbott (1908-1990) will always be remembered as the legendary activist and world citizen who helped transform Takoma Park into a city known throughout the nation for its commitment to participatory democracy, justice, peace, and the environment.

Among his achievements were the saving of thousands of homes from destruction by the North Central Freeway and the leveraging of Highway Trust Funds to build the Metro system. He later helped save Takoma Park Junior High School as well as hundreds of Victorian era homes slated for demolition. He helped found Earth Day and the Takoma Park Folk Festival.

During Sam Abbott's visionary tenure as Mayor (1980-1985), rent stabilization was instituted; a city newsletter was created; speed bumps and 4-way stops slowed residential traffic; citizen advisory committees were established and public participation in the governmental process was encouraged. Takoma Park became Tree City, USA; a Sanctuary City for political refugees; and a Nuclear-Free Zone. Sam fought for the revitalization of Takoma Old Town and against high-density development. With an energetic City Council and an activist citizenry, Mayor Abbott led the fight for unification of our city into one county, Montgomery.

Under the banner "Takoma Park: Preserve It or Lose It," Sam Abbott spent a half century waging the battles that helped establish the identity of Takoma Park as a vibrant community that acts locally and thinks globally.

The democratic ideals to which Mayor Sam Abbott devoted his life are a living legacy and continuing part of the values that define the City of Takoma Park, MD.

"If we can't make it happen in Takoma Park, there's no hope for the nation."