Another Minneapolis neighborhood group considering removing Calhoun from name

February 18, 2019 10:25 PM

A Minneapolis neighborhood group is considering dropping the name 'Calhoun.'

Just last year, the Minneapolis lake formerly known as Lake Calhoun was officially changed to Bde Maka Ska. The name Calhoun has divided many people in Minneapolis over the last few years.

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Now the East Calhoun Community Organization wants to take some time to consider whether they need to join the list of those who no longer want to be affiliated with that name. 

"About two years ago now we changed the name," said Karl Stoerzinger, who works at Perennial Cycle. 

RELATED: Bde Maka Ska earns federal recognition

The shop on West 34th Street and Hennepin Avenue used to be Calhoun Cycle, but Stoerzinger says their owner made the switch despite some backlash.

"A lot of people told him this is a bad idea, you have a strong online presence, you've been doing this for a long time you're going to have to start all over again," Stoerzinger said. 

Lake Bde Maka Ska dropped its former name Lake Calhoun last year. These moves come in response to public outcry that the name Calhoun is honoring former Vice President John C. Calhoun, a man with a pro-slavery reputation. 

"I think when the lake name changed, it threw that into a higher level of importance," said Judy Shields, president of the East Calhoun Community Organization. 

Shields says they created a committee to consider this same debate on whether to change their name.

"I think there are different people with different opinions and thus the reason for the process," Shields said. 

They're not the only neighborhood group to consider this. The Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, now South Uptown, made the switch last year.

"They went through this same process, we might tweak it a little bit so I think that people are conscious of the reason behind Lake Calhoun change," Shields said. 

While controversial, the name still has a presence.

"I think it's going to be a slow process, there's a lot of things that have the name Calhoun around here," Stoerzinger said. 

RELATED: It's official: Bde Maka Ska is in, Lake Calhoun is out

Whether it sticks around won't be a quick decision for the East Calhoun Community Organization

"This is not going to be a decision made by one small group of people. We are going to invite the entire neighborhood to weigh in," Shields said. 

The city of Minneapolis doesn't have a formal process to change a neighborhood group name. The East Calhoun Community Organization does plan to notify them if they make any changes. They plan to have different meetings and surveys to get the public's input.
 
A final decision is expected by the end of the year. 

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