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  • Lack of Transparency Fueling Boston Olympic Opposition


    12/11/14

    Cambridge is just across the Charles River from Boston. (Getty Images)
    (ATR) Opposition to the Boston 2024 Olympic bid has reached city councils in the area.

    The city of Cambridge, located just across the Charles River from Boston, voted to formally oppose the Boston 2024 bid on Dec. 8 according to a report in Boston Magazine.

    A lack of transparency between Boston 2024 and public officials led to the vote, which put Cambridge as the first neighboring city to go on record opposing the bid. Previously, opposition to the bid came from only citizen groups and editorials in Boston newspapers.

    “We don’t understand a thing [about the bid], and we want people to know we are not just going to roll over,” Dennis Carlone, a Cambridge city councilor, said to Boston Magazine.

    “I’m generally an optimist, but I see no plan, no strategy and no real communication about this.”

    The on-the-record opposition comes one week before Boston 2024 will speak to the United States Olympic Committee Board to persuade them to choose Boston as the United States 2024 Olympic representative.

    City councilors said they felt Cambridge was left out of the decision making process, despite Boston 2024 speaking to universities such as Harvard in the area.

    “I didn’t endorse the Olympic bid because I have no idea what it is. It sounds exciting, but do we really have the facilities? I don’t think so. If we go for this, it needs more time, and perhaps 2024 is much too optimistic.”

    On Dec. 8, the Boston Globe held a forum between two Globe writers, Juliette Kayyem of Boston 2024, and Chris Dempsey the chair of the “No Boston Olympics” opposition group, to discuss the bid.

    The forum discussed transparency issues in how Boston has presented its bid to the USOC. Kayyem said that releasing too much information would ruin Boston’s “competitive advantage.”

    Boston, along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. are the four shortlisted cities trying to become the U.S. representative for the 2024 Olympics.

    D.C. Mayor-Elect Travel Conflict

    Washington, D.C. mayor-elect Muriel Bowser (Getty Images)
    Washington, D.C. mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser could represent the city at the USOC Board Meeting on Dec. 16 due to existing conflicts.

    Bowser is required to attend the final city council legislative session on the same day due to her outgoing role as city council representative.

    “If that meeting is changed, I’ll be able to go to speak up for the D.C. bid,” Bowser said on Dec. 10 reported by the Washington Post.

    Discussions are ongoing to move the meeting back a day to allow Bowser to fly to Redwood City, California for the meeting, but the schedules of other city council representatives need to be respected.

    “We’re looking at whether we can accommodate what’s going on,” Phil Mendelson, council chairman, said to the Washington Post.

    “But at this point, I can’t say whether it can happen.”

    Written by Aaron Bauer

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