By Amy B. Wang
The Arizona Republic
The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday approved a proposed redistricting map for Phoenix that would split downtown between two City Council members and redraw other boundaries for the city’s eight districts.
The proposed changes, particularly those to the city’s southern districts, have stirred controversy since the City Council voted 6-3 to approve the new map in July.
District 8 Councilman Michael Johnson had challenged the new boundaries over accusations that they disempowered Black voters in his south Phoenix district and were pushed through without public input.
Others downplayed the dispute, saying the proposed map increases the percentage of voting-age minority residents in several districts and more fairly redistributes key economic assets in downtown Phoenix.