Since attending Phoenix College in 1947, Calvin Goode has attained success as an advocate, city councilman, and businessman.
Born in DePew, Oklahoma, Calvin's family moved to Arizona when he was still an infant. His family settled near Gila Bend, Arizona where they worked in agricultural fields picking cotton. Calvin graduated from Carver High School in 1945, the only school in Arizona built exclusively for African American students. He then went on to attend Phoenix College for two years, followed by Arizona State University (A.S.U.), where he obtained his B.A. and M.A. degrees. While at Phoenix College, he was active in the Woodson Society Literary Club, an organization dedicated to African American students with a purpose to raise the general consciousness and awareness of social trends. The club would invite several outside speakers each year to campus and host the annual Christmas ball.
Mr. Goode recalls it as a time when African Americans were not allowed to eat in many restaurants. Housing was restricted to certain areas, and jobs were limited. After obtaining his degrees at A.S.U., Mr. Goode returned to Carver High School as the school’s accountant. When Phoenix schools were integrated in 1954, Carver High was closed but he stayed on with the Phoenix Union High School District for a 30-year career. During those years, Mr. Goode also ran a tax accounting business, Calvin Goode & Associates.
In 1971, Calvin was persuaded to run for a seat on the Phoenix City Council. Always soft spoken, some people thought he was too timid to run for office. History tells us otherwise. Calvin was elected in 1972 and served for a total of eleven terms, a record twenty-two years. His victory made Calvin the second African American to ever serve on the Phoenix City Council. He was often called the "conscience of the council" because he used his voice to raise questions and pushed for neglected parts of the community. During his tenure on the council, Calvin advocated a wave of countless initiatives that have since impacted generations of citizens - including jobs and job training in the community, improved programs for youth, programs for women and minority-owned small businesses to ensure they receive a fair share of city business, and an ordinance that prohibited workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians and minorities. In 1984, he successfully advocated for a district form of city government, and was instrumental in getting the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday observed in the City of Phoenix, paving the way for the holiday to be observed statewide. To commemorate his years of service to the city, a Phoenix municipal building was named in Calvin's honor. In 2008, Calvin Goode was honored as an outstanding alumnus by the Phoenix College Alumni Association at the Phoenix College Hall of Fame Awards
During his retirement, Mr. Goode continued to serve his community. He was president of the Phoenix Elementary School Board and he worked on the transition committee for Governor Janet Napolitano. He was active with the local neighborhood improvement association and Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, a Head Start program. Goode was also a proud resident of the historic Eastlake Park neighborhood since 1995 and supported the restoration of the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. He will be remembered as an icon in Arizona politics. His political life's work was to address issues surrounding disadvantaged youth, minority-owned businesses, and impoverished areas of the community.