MN House Candidate – Renee Cardarelle DFL District 29A

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MN 2020 Candidate Questionnaire
Renee Cardarelle District 29A

Q1

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 am not a skateboarder, but I was involved in working with a group to build a skateboard park in Annandale MN. I worked with others to do fundraising and grant writing and I worked with the city to get their support in implementing a skateboard park. I learned first hand how difficult it is to get one developed. I believe it is a great outdoor activity for especially youth.

Q2

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?

I believe only Monticello has a skateboard park that is accessible to the youth of Wright County. The next closest is in St Cloud, although there maybe a pad or two I’m not familiar with located in one of the other towns in Wright County. I also have noted that the bias against this type of activity remains high in the communities I am part of.

Q3

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.

Well, the stereotype is that skateboarders are young, white males who are more prone to trouble. I think it has expanded greatly in the last couple of decades and now attracts people from all communities. As it becomes more widely accepted I think many communities have reduced the negative stereotypes, but they are still highly present in my community. Skateboarding is a relatively inexpensive, high energy, aerobic activity that teaches coordination, balance and muscle strength. It should be more widely accessible and would be a great way to provide regular exercise for marginalized or low income communities as well as a source of transportation!

Q4

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 am all for adding skateboard parks to our community services! As I stated above, they are relatively inexpensive ways for large groups of youth to be physically active. As you state it is also a great sport for those who are not able to participate in team sports and one that they can retain independently as a lifelong activity.

Q5

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 strongly believe in this activity as a viable way for our communities to connect.

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