By Andrea Papagianis
A line of skateboards and colorful helmets provided a different sight at City Hall Tuesday as more than 50 local skateboarding supporters gathered to let the Dana Point City Council know they want a skatepark in town.
Dozens of supporters of the community organization Skatepark of Dana Point filled the chamber’s entryway, waiting for their chance to speak. Six representatives went before the body asking members to consider the benefits of supporting traditional and action sports alike.
“I see no difference in the kids and families participating in skateboarding and surfing compared to those participating in traditional sports, however there is a major difference in the support these two groups receive from local government,” said Ben Classen, an action-sports media professional.
Speakers highlighted Dana Point’s role as a cultural epicenter for surf and skate and how action sports help drive the local economy and give kids, uninterested in team sports, an outlet where they can thrive, build relationships and even careers.
Under the state’s Brown Act, the council is not allowed to take action on issues raised during public comments but can ask staff to agendize an item for future discussion. The five-member body made no such request, but organizers are not discouraged.
“The goal of last night’s meeting was just to introduce us,” said Skatepark of Dana Point organizer Brandon Phillips. “We want to educate them on skateboarding being not just part of our local culture but also of international culture.”