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Phoenix council map under fire from black leaders

Phoenix council map under fire from black leaders

CREATED Aug 28, 2012

Web Producer: Laura Kittell

PHOENIX (AP) - Federal officials are being asked to reject Phoenix's new council district boundaries over concerns that they disempower black voters.
The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Johnson recently submitted a letter to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice protesting the map because he says it was not publicly vetted and reduces the voting power of African Americans in District 8, which he represents. The south Phoenix area has elected a black council member for decades.
The council in June adopted a map that left many of the area's economic and cultural assets, such as US Airways Center and the CityScape office and retail development, in Johnson's district.
Leaders of the south Phoenix black community were outraged over the map's impact.
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