Leigh Finke
As picture of Leigh doing a kick flip.
Leigh can kick flip!

2022 Candidate Survey

Describe your personal experience with skateboarding.

I skateboarded for about 15 years, before eventually putting it away after college. But I am skating again now that my 9 year old has gotten into the sport. I love skateboarding. It's difficult and takes immense skill, concentration and creativity.

Can you do a kick flip?

Yes

Do the communities you would represent have quality, accessible, visible skateboarding spaces?

There is no skatepark in my district. My kids and I go up to Vadnais Heights skate park from time to time. The Merriam Park skatepark is the closer but it's smaller and generally busier.

Do you see the connection between skateboarding and social, racial, gender, and economic equity? If so, please share a few thoughts.

Yes. Skateboarding is an activity that is often undertaken by members of vulnerable communities and outsiders. And many people in power have viewed skateboarding as a signal of criminal or delinquent behavior. Which is not just untrue, but propagates stereotypes and pushes at risk young people further to the margins.

How will you support youth and community health with new ideas and infrastructure?

I have a young skater in my home (and a young roller skater) and they both understand the value of skateparks, skate rinks, any space that is smooth and welcoming. Instead of kicking young kids out of newly paved parking lots (as has happened to us at Allianz Field), we should be creating new space for these healthy activities. I would support expanding the number and the size of skateparks, as well as finding ways to mix-use alt sport spaces for roller skating (also on the rise), and other roll sports.

Will you support fully funding the Minnesota Skate Park Grant Program (SF2502/HF2876) in the 2023 Legislative session and beyond?

Yes.