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MN 2020 Candidate Questionnaire
Kris Fredrick District 38A
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 had a skateboard for many years when I was younger, and enjoyed skateboarding with my brother. I am a supporter of skateboarding for several reasons. It improves balance, enhances coordination, and gives people a chance to enjoy recreation outdoors.
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?
Unfortunately, I believe our communities do not have enough access to quality, accessible, and visible skateboard spaces. I would like to change this and encourage people of all ages to skateboard. It is an inexpensive sport, and encourages people to overcome fears and achieve what they once thought was impossible.
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.
The cost to participate in skateboarding is relatively low, which makes it an ideal sport for all social, racial, gender, and economic classes to participate. Because the skateboarding community is inclusive, it has one of the lowest barriers to entry in the sporting world.
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?
As your legislator, I will support infrastructure projects such as skate parks. We need healthy recreation as much as we need roads and bridges, and skate parks offer enjoyment for many members of a community.
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?
Yes, I will support this bill.