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MN 2020 Candidate Questionnaire
Andrea Nelsen District 55B
Describe your personal experience with skateboarding. Are you a skateboarder? Have you ever been a skateboarder? Do you personally know any skateboarders? What is your general perception of the activity?
I skateboarded a little as a kid. I also did and still do gymnastics, downhill ski racing and ski jumping. I do know some skateboarders. I think it is an excellent activity.
Skateboarding has always had an appeal to youth and kids, but after many decades, skateboarding is now a multigenerational activity (ages 3-60+ years). Minnesota needs more opportunities for our citizens to be outside, active and creative in community social spaces. Do the communities you would represent have quality, accessible and visible skateboard spaces?
No – and we need more. I absolutely support extending many youth-oriented activities, like skating, snowboarding, ice skating, gymnastics and other sports to a more multigenerational community. I doubt you will find a bigger supporter for that concept in the whole state than me! Call me if you want to learn more. Thanks.
Minnesota hosted the world’s largest skateboard competition, X Games in 2017, 2018 and 2019. During the three X Games Minneapolis events, women and men competed in skateboarding contests that will also be added to the Olympics for Tokyo 2021. Skateboarding has become a worldwide equity activity that has little barrier to participation other than safe places to roll. Do you see a connection between skateboarding and social, racial, gender and economic equity? If so, please share a few thoughts.
Absolutely. Any activity that gets people together outdoors, in an active way that does no harm to the environment is beneficial to our community, and it helps overcome the barriers to those forms of equity.
Quality concrete skateparks are an efficient use and value of tax payer resources due to their constant use and minimal maintenance. Other community amenities like ballfields, pools, ice rinks, trails and courts need large dedicated spaces, costly programming, and are often expensive to maintain financially and environmentally. Beyond team sports, our community members need activities that challenge them mentally and physically. How will you support youth and community health with new ideas and infrastructure?
I pretty much support anything the community wants to do that promotes an active lifestyle. We talk about healthcare non-stop in our society but we talk much less about actual health. Getting our society to be more active will save us money in the long run by promoting good health. As people become more aware and concerned about how much time we spend online, or in front of screens, I think more people will get behind community amenities like skate parks.
Skateboarding is an individual challenging activity that can be done alone, but flourishes at community public skateparks that also can work within our COVID-19 era of social distancing. The University of Southern California just completed a study of skateboarding with these findings, “What we learned from skateboarding youth was profound. Study data illustrate how skateboarding bolsters mental health and facilitates community. Skaters of color explained feeling safer and more supported in the skate community. Skaters clearly articulated skills they learned through skating, such as persistence (skaters will practice a trick hundreds of times until they land it), problem solving, intergenerational and cross-cultural communication.” Our Minnesota communities need new ideas and resources to help serve our youth. Will you support the MN State Skate Park Matching Grant Program HF2490/SF1490?