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Arizona civil rights leader, former councilman dies at 93

December 24, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona civil rights leader Calvin C. Goode, who spent more than two decades on the Phoenix City Council fighting to improve the low-income Black neighborhoods he represented, died Wednesday, his family said.

Goode died at age 93 of an illness unrelated to COVID-19, the family said in a statement.

During his tenure, Goode often disagreed with other council members, voting in the 1980s against freeway expansion projects he argued would destroy neighborhoods.

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Originally from Oklahoma, Goode attended a high school for Black students and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arizona State University. He worked 30 years for the Phoenix Union High School District and ran his own tax accounting business.

In 1971, he became the second African American elected to the council, representing much of southeast Phoenix and Ahwatukee Foothills. Goode lost a mayoral bid in 1990 and retired from the council in 1994.

He had long lived in Phoenix’s Eastlake Park neighborhood, an area that was shaped by the city’s earlier segregation and played a key role in Arizona’s Black history.

An amphitheater in the park and a municipal building in downtown are dedicated to him.

Goode was mourned Wednesday evening by current council members and other Arizona politicians.

Memorial services are pending.