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MN 2020 Candidate Questionnaire
Doria Drost District 16A
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’ve tried to skateboard before, but it is not something I can do very well. I do have close friends that partake in the activity. I feel it is a wonderful way to stay active, and it takes a lot of skill to do well.
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?
My district does have a variety of bike paths and walking paths for folks to utilize, which would be great for skateboarding as well. I would like to see more investment in these areas though, and possibly a skatepark as well for folks to use.
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.
I feel, just as with any active and creative outlet, that skateboarding does bolster mental health benefits and community formation among those that participate in the activity. This can be very beneficial in creating inclusion opportunities for folks from marginalized communities- including LGBTQ+ and people of color, as well as those from lower income areas.
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’m a strong advocate for infrastructure investment, particularly in rural communities as that is the layout of where I come from. I would support legislation and investments into creating safe spaces for people to remain active, including the construction of skateparks.
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?