MIDVALE, Utah — Mayor Marcus Stevenson would have looked like any other skateboarder in the park, except for the black shirt with "MAYOR" emblazoned on the back.
As a DJ played music nearby, he took turns on some of the ramps and caught some air.
The 27-year-old Stevenson hosted a "meet the mayor" event at a skate park on Friday to get to know constituents and talk to them about city issues. As some kids and parents hit ramps and rails, he would ask them about city issues and concerns they may have.
"As elected officials? We’ve got to take everything to our residents. Having something that is A, free; B, open for the full family and friendly for kids," he said in an interview Friday with FOX 13 News. "I mean, personally? Skating for me has been a big part of my life, but something we can help build community in Midvale. I really think it’s needed right now."
Mayor Stevenson said he's been skateboarding since he was five years-old and believes it's a good thing for kids to feel included and welcomed to. Kids in the Midvale Boys & Girls Club were skating there. The mayor has also been volunteering with The Chill Foundation, a group that helps underprivileged children get involved in board sports by teaching them how to skateboard and snowboard.
"I introduced him as a volunteer and I was like, 'Oh by the way, he’s also the mayor' and it was like, 'What? That’s the mayor?'" said Dallon Williams, the foundation's program director. "You don’t have to be really old and you don’t have to be someone who’s unrelatable to be the mayor and in politics. So it’s a great perspective for the kids to learn. And he skates, too, so bonus points for being cool."
Some of the kids at the park on Friday said they liked the skateboarding mayor.
"I think it's personally really cool, because I don’t think I’ve ever met a mayor of a city," said Karina Toledo. "But I've met him and I think he’s pretty cool."
Sam Milianta, a Midvale resident who also skateboards, said he liked the mayor's unorthodox approach.
"I like that they’re like getting kids interested in skating and doing something for the community and when they see someone who’s in charge of their community doing something they love, it kinds of makes them feel a sense of community and belonging," he said.
Mayor Stevenson said he would like to organize future events like "skate with the mayor." He had already heard from constituents who approached him with issues to tackle in Midvale.
"I've had a mom come over and say we need a crosswalk right here," he said, later adding: "I don't disagree with her!"