Josh Zakim

District 8: Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway-Kenmore, Mission Hill, West End

 

A Globe article on January 8, 2015 (after the USOC chose Boston 2024) mentioned that Josh Zakim “warned of the long road ahead, saying he is proud of Boston for being chosen.” It quotes him: “We’ve heard a little bit from folks. We want to make sure folks aren’t being displaced and we want to make sure everyone has a voice in the process.”

 

On February 4, 2015, Josh Zakim filed an order for four questions for the November ballot:

 

1. Should Boston host the 2024 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games (the “Games”)? YES/NO

2. If Boston were to host the 2024 Olympics, should the City commit any public money to support the Games? YES/NO

3. If Boston were to host the 2024 Olympics, should the City make any financial guarantees to cover cost overruns for the Games? YES/NO

4. If Boston were to host the 2024 Olympics, should the City use its power of eminent domain to take private land on behalf of the Games? YES/NO

 

In the press release announcing the order, Zakim remarked,

 

“Robust and meaningful civic participation is the hallmark of a truly exceptional city. Hosting the 2024 Olympics is indeed an opportunity to showcase our wonderful city to the world. But it also presents a number of potential issues for Boston residents, from the everyday to the deeply complex. I have heard from Bostonians in my own district and across the city who are justifiably worried about how they will commute to work, or whether their tax dollars will be used to finance Olympic construction and operations. I applaud Boston 2024 for bringing its proposal for the Boston Olympics into the community for public discussion and scrutiny, but the people of this City deserve even more. Bostonians need the chance to have their voices heard collectively and on the record. The scope and scale of this project are too large to bypass the democratic values that we as a City hold so dearly. Boston 2024, as well as the USOC and IOC, are all private organizations seeking a partnership with a public entity – as such, the public must have its say on whether that partnership should go forward.”

 

At the March 6, 2015, City Council hearing, Councilor Zakim brought up his proposed ballot questions and asked whether or not Boston 2024 supported having a vote on them.

 

When asked on April 20, 2015, for his current position on the bid, Councilor Zakim referred No Boston 2024 to the aforementioned press release, as his office did to the JP Gazette with regard to a request for an article published on April 10, 2015.

 

At the City Council hearing on May 18, 2015, Councilor Zakim expressed concerns around the financial guarantee and the use and authority of city-owned land.

 

At the June 26, 2015 City Council hearing on Olympic venues and financing, Councilor Zakim noted that the top question he gets from constituents is about the Olympic bid process and that it is frustrating not to have answers. He reiterated Councilor Wu’s point that if there is going to be a financial guarantee, it will need to go through the City Council and have a definite number. He asked Rich Davey, “If there is not a guarantee from the city, would there be a guarantee from the state? If neither guarantee appears, is the bid over?”

 

On July 20, 2015, Councilor Zakim expressed his support of Councilor Jackson's effort to subpoena Boston 2024 in order to obtain the full, unredacted version of Bid 1.0.

 

At the July 22, 2015 City Council meeting, Councilor Zakim spoke in favor of suspending the rules and passing Councilor Jackson's subpoena order. He noted that not having all of the financial information from the bid makes it very difficult for councilors to fulfill their role as fiscal stewards for the city.  He criticized Boston 2024's lack of transparency, noting that the City Council should not have to be "pulling teeth" to get basic information.

 

Contact Councilor Zakim to tell him why you oppose the Boston 2024 Olympics bid.