Phoenix City Council District 8 Runoff Intensified By Race Issues

October 09, 2013

Part of the intensity of the Phoenix City Council’s District 8 race has been related to the assertion by some that the council seat should be held by an African-American. Former Councilman Calvin Goode has said that when the district system in Phoenix was instituted, "It was determined that District 7 would be for Latinos and District 8 would be for African-Americans."

Others who were in office at the time, including former Mayor Terry Goddard, said there was never any deal to guarantee that a person of a particular background would represent either District 7 or District 8.

Dr. Matthew Whitaker, the founding director of the Center For the Study of Race and Democracy and a professor of history at Arizona State University, offered some history and context.