District 3: Dorchester
On October 17, 2014, Frank Baker attended a closed door meeting at the State House with Boston 2024.
On February 16, 2015, Councilor Baker told the Globe that he "wouldn't be crazy about all dorms over there," referring to the conversion of the Olympic village to UMass Boston student housing, and noted that he would prefer a mixed-use development with housing, restaurants, and stores. The Globe reported that Baker “said he is intrigued by the possibility of using the Olympics to improve the neighborhood's connections to other areas of the city and to the water.” He said, “As a whole, the neighborhood is waiting to see what the overall plan is. I'm more concerned about what it will look like after the Games are gone….We need to get into the weeds.?”
At the City Council hearing on March 6, 2015, Councilor Baker asked many specific, pointed questions about the bid. He expressed frustration that John Fish and David Manfredi left before he could ask them questions, calling their behavior “a little bit disrespectful.” He asked the remaining Boston 2024 representative, Rich Davey, questions about Widett Circle, the plans for Dorchester Avenue, the 16,000 bed addition to UMass Boston, modular housing, how an Olympics can be profitable before a Games, and the new I-93 ramps planned for the neighborhood (which he called a “game stopper”). At this point, Councilor Linehan cut him off and said that he was asking too many questions.
On March 24, 2015, Councilor Baker attended a “Team Walsh” event at Florian Hall organized by Joe Rull and designed to recruit volunteers for Boston 2024. According to the Dorchester Reporter, Councilor Baker said, “Tonight here, we’re running a political campaign..Normally at an organizational campaign you meet the candidate, ask them questions. That’s what we’re doing tonight.” He affirmed his support for the bid and noted, “I do think they will happen...I think it will be a heavy lift, but I think it will happen.”
Councilor Baker did not respond to the JP Gazette’s request for his current position on the bid as of the publication of their piece on April 10, 2015. He did not respond to No Boston 2024’s request ten days later either.
At the City Council hearing on May 18, 2015, Councilor Baker noted, “I want to be supportive of the Olympics, and I am, but I can’t until we answer some of those financial questions.” He proceeded to ask questions about cost overruns, insurance, and who has the final say over venue siting and cost.
At the June 26, 2015 City Council hearing on Olympic venues and financing, Councilor Baker noted that he appreciates that Boston 2024 “seems to be listening now,” and he described the parts of Bid 2.0 released so far as “well-thought-out.” He described the process so far as “one of the most robust” he’s been through. He asked why Boston 2024 is looking at building the Olympic Village in its currently designated place in Columbia Point, suggesting condensing it and putting it all on the peninsula in order “to stay true to the master plan” and create “more of a legacy for us in the neighborhood” as “student beds aren’t much of a legacy.” He expressed concern about financing but not go into a specific line of questioning. He described the plans for Widett Circle as “exciting,” but wanted to know what happens to the tow lot and MBTA facilities there and urged keeping the land in public ownership. He noted that he “would like to be able to support the Olympics” and “hopefully [the Council] can get to a point where we can support it.”
At the July 22, 2015 City Council meeting, Councilor Baker spoke against Councilor Jackson's subpoena order, claiming that there was plenty of time still and saying he didn't want to seem "antagonistic" toward Boston 2024.
Contact Councilor Baker to tell him why you oppose the Boston 2024 Olympics bid.