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Boston City Councilor Proposes Public Feedback in 2024 Olympic Planning

Questions about Boston’s 2024 Olympics bid could be present on the next city ballot.

City Councilor Josh Zakim announced today that he has officially filed an order for four questions about the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to be present on the ballot. The nonbiding referenda, if the proposal receives a majority vote of the City Council and the approval of Mayor Marty J. Walsh, will appear on the ballot for the Boston Municipal Election on Nov. 3, 2015.

“Robust and meaningful civic participation is the hallmark of a truly exceptional city,” Zakim said in a press release.

The question and answer choices proposed by Zakim are as follows:

  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

Zakim will present the order to the entire Boston City Council at its next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 4.

While just this week, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said that Boston’s assets--its rich history and reputation as a hub for higher education--offer “great potential” to support the city’s Olympic bid for 2024, there are still a lot of doubts about the city’s ability to effectively host the Games.

“[Hosting the Games] presents a number of potential issues for Boston residents,” said Zakim. “Bostonians need the chance to have their voices heard collectively and on the record.”

Zakim cited public concerns such as commuting to work and whether or not public tax dollars will be used to finance the city’s proposed $4.5 billion budget.

“The scope and scale of this project are too large to bypass the democratic values that we a as a City hold so dearly,” he said.

“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.”

The US Olympic Committee chose Boston as its 2024 Olympic bid earlier this month, citing its strong sports culture and ability to keep costs down using the city’s existing sports structures and university facilities as reasons for its decision. The current plan envisions field hockey at Harvard Stadium, archery at MIT, and dorms at UMass-Boston, BU and Northeastern to be used for housing athletes and media.

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School, major and year: A&S, English 2016
An overactive maker of Spotify playlists, but reads her books with a pencil. Drunken eater of too much cereal. Drinks her coffee black. Prefers Bean Boots over sandals and owns six pairs of the same running shoe. An avid woods wanderer. Does not like reading the news.