2022 Candidate Survey
Describe your personal experience with skateboarding.
I grew up as a skateboarder back in the very late 1960's and throughout the 1970's while I was in my teens. My fist board was made of wood and had hard wheels, which were the same as used on old roller-skates. I graduated to a vintage fiberglass Abercrombie board that was among the first to have polyurethane wheels. This was even before long boards were available. I remember bring the only kid in the neighborhood to have good enough balance to skateboard! There were no skate parks at the time -- at least not in Minnesota -- just driveways and streets that had enough slope to set up our own course. My daughter purchased a long board and took it to college with her. She and my son, 19 and 21, respectively, are the only two skateboarders I know. My son's friend (who unexpectedly passed this year) used the local skate park as a teen. Skateboarding is a great way to spend time, both for its socialization and recreational aspects. My view is that recreational pursuits that keep kids out of trouble are worth it.
Can you do a kick flip?
Do the communities you would represent have quality, accessible, visible skateboarding spaces?
Brooklyn We Park does have a skate park. In my view it needs updating and expansion to create space for more boarders. We are also a large community (the state's 6th largest city!) and would benefit from an addition skate space.
Do you see the connection between skateboarding and social, racial, gender, and economic equity? If so, please share a few thoughts.
Unfortunately, the perception of skateboarding is that it's a male dominated activity. The good news is that it's an activity that can be enjoyed by just about anyone regardless of their gender or race. The two most significant "barriers to entry" are the cost of a board and access or proximity to a park. Larger municipalities such as Brooklyn Park should consider adding space in areas underserved with recreational opportunities.
How will you support youth and community health with new ideas and infrastructure?
I wholeheartedly agree with my friend, Mayor Dave Kleis. The construction and maintenance of skate parks is fundamentally a municipal or sometimes county responsibility. But once built require much less in overhead than traditional team sport venues. So boarding is a great "bang for the buck" type of investment.
Will you support fully funding the Minnesota Skate Park Grant Program (SF2502/HF2876) in the 2023 Legislative session and beyond?