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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?
I am not a skateboarder personally I work with youth in North Minneapolis who skateboard and I have friends with children that skateboard.
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?
If I am elected as a Park board commissioner I would like to work with advocates from the skateboarding community to see what can be implemented in the 2020 master plan. I am very supportive of skate park improvements and I see skateboarding as much needed recreation activity for youth of color.
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.
I believe that we should have more women, girls, and people of color participating in these activities and having access to parks where they can practice is key to being successful at these sports.
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?
dedicate funding to youth recreation like reconnecting children with nature, and reducing crime by providing safe, healthy alternatives for at-risk youth. Provide active living resources for the elderly populations within the park system.
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 would, I believe our city should have more opportunities for recreation and this includes skateboarding.
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?
to ensure the safety of the people who will use these spaces I would like to work with skate advocates to discuss DIY spaces. I am open to this idea but I am not familiar with who builds the space and what process needs to be in place for this to happen.