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MPRB Candidate Questionnaire
Describe your personal experience with skateboarding. Have you ever been a skateboarder? Do you personally know any skateboarders? What is your general perception of the activity?
Growing up many of my friends were skateboarders. I just played Tony Hawk on N64. I’ve gotten to know skateboarders as an adult and the main thing they have in common is chillness! It’s great. My campaign theme is Innovations in Recreation, and skateboarding is an affordable activity anyone can pick up. I support giving people more reasons to visit the parks and be active.
MPRB currently has 1 skatepark in each of the 6 MPRB districts. Each MPRB skatepark is over 11 years old and is in need of replacement due to poor design and materials. MPRB has invested $0 into skateparks and skateboard infrastructure in the past decade. Over the past 4 years skateboard supporters and City of Skate have worked to have 10 new skateparks designated into MPRB master plans. We hope to have a citywide total of 20 skateparks and skate-spaces, once all masterplanning is complete in 2020. As of today, MPRB has not funded nor prioritized any one of these designated new skateparks. How will you prioritize and work to fund skateparks?
The equity matrix for the new NPP20 funding dictates where and when new investments are made. Within that framework, I will work for skate features to have a similar investment priority as water features or playground equipment.
In 2017 and 2018 Minneapolis is hosting the world’s largest skateboard competition, X Games. During X Games Minneapolis, women and men will compete in skateboarding contests that will also be added to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Skateboarding is seen by many as a worldwide equity activity that has little barrier to participation. Do you see a connection between skateboarding and social, racial, gender, and economic equity? If so, please share a few thoughts.
Yes! Recreation is equity. Skateboarding is not a crime! Unfortunately these are radical ideas under white supremacy and Neoliberalism. I’m running for office to work to defeat these scourges in our public systems.
Skateboarding has always had an appeal to teenagers and kids, but after many decades, skateboarding is now a multigenerational activity that maintains a user group that varies in ages from approximately 4 to 60+ years old. MPRB needs more opportunities for our citizens to be active and creative. Along with skateboarding, what investments and activities can MPRB embrace to make our communities more active and interactive?
Bring back calisthenics and kinesthetics! Body movement workouts and service learning are intergenerational activities that create public health. My favorite part of living in a city is joyfully sharing public space with people that aren’t like me.
With little to no maintenance needed, quality concrete skateparks are an efficient use of tax payer resources. Other park amenities like ballfields, pools, ice rinks, and courts need large dedicated spaces and are often expensive to maintain financially and environmentally. Additionally, during the last decade, MPRB has spent more money trying to stop skateboarding via defensive architecture (skate-stoppers) than it has on skateboard parks and/or features. With collaboration during design and build processes, would you support skateboarding via the activation of everyday park features such as benches, stairs, railings, ledges and sculptures for skateboarding?
Yes. I’m sure we’d have to come up with an appropriate policy, or designate certain areas. We could also provide temporary equipment on designated hard surfaces.
To be able to practice and challenge their skills, skateboarders have always sought underutilized public spaces like deserted plazas, schoolyards, tennis courts, and parking lots. Often skate culture has brought a “Do It Yourself” (D.I.Y.) creativity to spaces, creating their own skate features and spaces. Would you be willing to work with the skate community to sanction spaces for skateboarders to create their own D.I.Y. spaces?
Lol yes! I just suggested that in the answer above.