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See ya, John C. Calhoun: CARAG neighborhood votes to switch name to South Uptown

Facebook: CARAG

Facebook: CARAG

The purge of slave-crazed South Carolina politician John C. Calhoun continues in Minneapolis. 

On Tuesday, residents of the CARAG neighborhood voted 78-71 to change their neighborhood's name to South Uptown, narrowly edging out the other replacement candidate, Bryant Square.

"There was general agreement that the name needed to be changed," says Scott Engel, executive coordinator of CARAG. "People seemed satisfied at the end -- they were both good options." 

The need for a new name was multifold, Engel says. As an acronym, the name CARAG -- Calhoun Area Residents' Action Group -- was always something of an odd outlier. In January, when Lake Calhoun officially became Bde Maka Ska, it started making even less sense. 

"Our neighbor actually doesn’t even touch the lake, so we thought there might be something better out there," Engel says. "[South Uptown] communicates who we are to a wider audience.”

For the new name to be formalized, CARAG now needs approval from the Minneapolis City Council. The city does not currently have a process to switch neighborhood names, Engel explains, but future South Uptowners are hopeful. Council President Lisa Bender was in attendance during Tuesday's vote, and she has been supportive of the neighborhood's ongoing name-change efforts, Engel says. 

Just don't expect South Uptown to escape its abbreviatory past. Twitter users have already riffed out a new shorthand for the neighborhood: SOUP.

A handful of landmarks sporting Calhoun's name remain, including the Calhoun Beach Club, Calhoun Square, and the parkway that wraps around Bde Maka Ska.