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MPRB District 3 Candidates
NO RESPONSE from AK Hassan – Mohoumad Hassan
1) 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?
Becky Alper – I grew up riding my bike, stilt walking and pogo stick jumping, but not skateboarding. I have tried it a few times and have enjoyed watching people who are really good at it, whether my neighbor on our street or professionals on tv. I think skateboarding is an easily accessible activity that helps animate public places, that doesn’t cost a lot to do nor requires highly specialized equipment or infrastructure.
2) Skateboarding has always had an appeal to youth and kids, but after many decades, skateboarding is now a multigenerational activity (ages 3-60+ years). Minneapolis needs more opportunities for our citizens to be outside, active and creative in community social spaces.
Do the communities you would represent have existing quality, accessible and visible skateboard spaces at the moment?
Becky Alper – District 3 only has one skate park at present, at Brackett Park, which is not in great shape. I reviewed the 2018 skate park activity plan and I’m in agreement that Minneapolis could use six times the square footage of skate parks that it currently has. I like the idea of getting creative with skate spots and neighborhood park funding, looking for partnerships, grants and outside resources and not letting existing sources stop MPRB from pursuing implementation. We have a lot of park land in sod, and while that certainly serves a purpose of providing green space, I think there is much to be gained by increasing the breadth of activities in which people of all ages can participate in our parks. I think skate spots could especially serve District 3 residents well, as we have some very small parks in our most diverse neighborhoods which also have high levels of poverty and disinvestment.
3) Women and men will compete in 2 new skateboard events at the 2021 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.
Becky Alpers – As the mom of two young biracial daughters, I think a lot about how society perceives and accepts them. I believe that it is the role of MPRB to make sure programming works hard to cut through stereotypes of all kinds and open the horizons of kids and residents as a whole, whether that’s through beginning skateboarding or learn to bicycle classes, getting boys to take art classes and girls to try soccer. So maybe it’s introducing skateboarding in a Ninja Warriors MPRB class etc.
4) 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.
How will you support skateboarding, skateparks, and what other ideas, proposals do you support to serve all youth?
Becky Alper – I see my role as a park board commissioner to build upon prior work of the board, like the 2018 skate parks plan, and to seek out expertise both from staff and the community. I’d highly support cost effective, rapidly built projects that have an immediate return on quality of life for residents of Minneapolis.
5) In 2018 MPRB approved a Skate Park Activity Plan that was a 5 year process that began in 2013 with a Community Steering Committee. Additionally, with the completion of MPRB citywide Master Planningin 2020, 20+ skatepark and skateboard spaces have been approved system wide. Since 2006, MPRB has 1 small modular skatepark in each of the 6 MPRB districts.
Will you support funding to help complete the MPRB Skate Park Activity Plan and the 20+ spaces already designated to provide safe skateboard/wheeled spaces for youth and communities? Are you willing to champion an annual line item on the MPRB CIP directly for new, improved and accessible skatepark facilities in the high equity rated parks for prioritizing recreational youth development?
Becky Alper – Yes.
*Picture Above – Current and longstanding condition of MPRB Brackett Skatepark District 3