Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics is the subject of several upcoming meetings in the next week—both in support and in opposition. But keeping track of who is running which meeting, and what will be discussed, can be confusing. The following guide should help.
While the JP-area Franklin Park is proposed as an Olympics venue, the only official pro-Olympics meeting currently scheduled in the neighborhood is not until June.
Boston 2024, the private group making the Olympics bid, must submit the first draft of its bid document to the U.S. Olympic Committee by Sept. 15.
Because the Olympics are an unusual event involving a public-private business deal, there is no regular city or state review process as there is for other major real estate projects. While the public can voice opinions at the various meetings, there is no requirement for any City board or agency to vote on the Olympics afterward or for the bid to include the public’s comments.
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh decided privately to support the bid and is the only local official whose agreement is necessary for the Olympics contract. The Boston City Council is planning to create a Special Committee on the 2024 Olympics at its next meeting on Jan. 29, according to Councilor Tito Jackson. After it is formed, that committee could hold additional public hearings and community meetings.
Boston 2024 Community Advisory Group, today, Jan. 21
Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., South Boston, 6 p.m.
Who’s hosting: the private committee making the Olympics bid
What to expect: The first official public discussion by the group making the bid. Boston 2024 has said it will reveal some, but not all, of the bid documents. It is unclear what the “Community Advisory Group” is, but it appears that anyone who signed up on the Boston 2024 website is considered a member, and that number was reported to be in the hundreds. Boston 2024 says this is the first of “regular monthly” meetings of the group, but has not announced further meeting dates.
No Boston 2024, Thurs., Jan. 22
Where: Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St., #2, Back Bay, 7 p.m.
Who’s hosting: a Jamaica Plain-based group opposing the Olympics bid
What to expect: Creation of community strategy for organizing and protesting against the Olympics. No Boston 2024 held the first public meeting of any kind about the Olympics bid in JP in November, and organizer Robin Jacks told the Gazette that future meetings likely will be in JP as well. No Boston 2024 is allied with, but separate from, another opposition group called No Boston Olympics.
City of Boston, Tues., Feb. 3 (rescheduled from Jan. 27 due to snowstorm)
Where: Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont St. downtown, 6:30 p.m.
Who’s hosting: It is unclear exactly which City of Boston officials are running the meetings, but they were organized and announced by the Mayor’s Office. Mayor Walsh is an Olympics supporter.
What to expect: Discussion on “the benefits and the impact on the City” of hosting an Olympics. The City of Boston has no formal review process for the Olympics, so it is unclear what exactly will happen with the input it gathers. This is the first of nine meetings the City plans to hold in various neighborhoods through Sept. 29. One in JP is slated for June 30. The final meeting in the series, to be held in East Boston, is slated for two weeks after the bid submission deadline, so it is unclear what significance its input can have.