Jarrett Maupin: White Candidate for District 8 City Council Seat Is Attempted "Political Lynching of Phoenix's Black Community"

Categories: City Hall
Reverend Jarrett Maupin
Although the election for the Phoenix City Council seat in District 8 -- a seat that has been held by African-Americans for the past 46 years -- is still months away, race is definitely going to be an issue.

Several people, including leaders in Phoenix's African-American community, already have publicly stated that they'd like to see the council seat won by an African-American this year, but perhaps local civil rights leader Reverend Jarrett Maupin has been the harshest (which shouldn't come as a surprise to those familiar with him).

See also:
-Pastor Warren Stewart to Run for Phoenix City Council's 8th District Seat in Bid to Continue Streak of African-Americans
-Kid Sharpton
-The Good Fight

Maupin tells New Times that he believes support of the only official candidate thus far, Kate Gallego -- whom Maupin refers to as Kate Widland-Gallego -- is an attempted "political lynching of Phoenix's black community."

That comment was pointed specifically at Councilman Michael Nowakowski, who has endorsed Gallego, the wife of Democratic state Representative Ruben Gallego.

At one point, Maupin says, he helped Nowakowski land votes from voters who attend Phoenix's black churches, and Maupin feels a bit betrayed at this point.

"He campaigned in our houses of worship on a unity platform. He would read a favorite prayer of Cesar Chavez, quote Dr. King, and now he has thrown all of those promises he made, promises made in God's House, under the bus," Maupin says. "He has turned Si Se Puede and We Shall Overcome into Si Yo Puedo and Me, Myself, and I."

As we noted last week, Vice Mayor Michael Johnson is term-limited this year, and the district likely has more Hispanic voters than it did in 1992, when Johnson was first elected. This year's election has the 46-year streak of African-American councilmen representing District 8 in jeopardy.

Without an African-American on the city council, that would make the most powerful elected African-American in the city a, what, school board member?

Kate Gallego, however, hasn't seen it that way.

"I don't think there's an African-American or Latino way to fill a pothole," she told the Arizona Republic.

To this, Maupin strikes back.

"Kate Widland-Gallego is right. There is no black or Latino way to fix a pothole," he says. "But what a candidate does have to know is where the potholes are in the black and Latino neighborhoods. That's the real issue. Kate Widland-Gallego doesn't know us. Kate Widland-Gallego doesn't drive where we drive or walk where we walk."

While Maupin's already got some harsh words -- again, which isn't surprising -- he's not alone in his thoughts.

A short opinion piece from former city Councilman Calvin Goode, who's African-American, was just published this weekend in the Arizona Republic.

"Recently, Kate Gallego announced her intention to be a candidate for District 8. She is white," Goode writes. "She states she will represent all District 8 citizens, including African-Americans. I find it strange that I have not seen her at any African-American affairs or events. I am unaware of a single action that she has demonstrated to support African-Americans."

Meanwhile, we're told there was a consensus among several of the city's high-profile black leaders, including potential candidates, that Pastor Warren Stewart of the First Institutional Baptist Church is the consensus choice to replace Johnson.

Stewart hasn't made his candidacy official, as of yet.

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there is but one who is reverend-GOD- the creator and your only redemption and salvation- do the holier than thou- word of mouth- reverends- equal themselves to GOD- if they do- im scared of you- (cant we all just get along) HYPOCRITES- don't preach diversity one minute- then preach- don't vote for - kate gallegos- because she is Caucasian= white woman-( straighten up and fly right)

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

He looks like a very young Al Sharpton, don't you think?

ExpertShot topcommenter

I do walk where they walk and go to meetings in the African American
comunities in South Phoenix.  There is a DEFINITE sense of entitlement
among these good people.  In addition, the community leaders are in many
instances anti-hispanic in their views (e.g., large numbers support
Arpaio's actions against the Federal Immigration system).  I was frankly
a little shocked that Dr. King's most powerful words do not resonate
the same among the African American community members in this area.
They pick and chose Dr. King's words like they cherry-pick the bible to
support their own beliefs.  They need to wise up and realize that things
have changed and if they don't change with the times, they will be left leaderless.


Then run a strong candidate, mobilize voters on the ground and win the damn seat. There are no set-asides. There isn't a Black seat, a Hispanic seat, an Asian seat, a White seat, a Mormon seat, a Catholic seat or a Baptist seat. There are open seats that the candidatae with the most votes wins. It takes hard work to win an election and if Maupin wants a specific candidate to win he needs to get off his duff, walk neighborhoods, staff phone banks and solicit $$$$. Thats what will win the election, not some sort of declaration that this is the "Black seat" and no one else should be able to run for it.

Maybe Maupin should consider judging candidates by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@ExpertShot Uh-huh. Jail staff avoid mixing blacks and Mexicans. There is definitely bad blood between the two groups. If this young Rev. is serious, he will do all he can to bridge that gap.


@LegitQuestions Although you make good points, it seems more likely that the good Reverend intends to vote the race card and use his pulpit to have his followers do the same.  It makes no difference who might be the better representative for the community.  In his eyes, only a black skin should apply for the job.

He has not really embraced Dr King at all.  He just likes dropping that name when it suits his purpose.

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