In an interview with Dorchester Reporter, Mayor Marty Walsh complained that the so-called "community meetings" he helped set up to discuss the Boston 2024 Olympics proposal have been dominated by people opposed to the games, who he said aren't part of the "actual community":
The community meetings that the city has convened to date, he says, have been dominated by anti-Olympics voices.
“When you have one side dominating the crowd, it’s not a true process,” Walsh told the Reporter. “Let the actual community ask the questions.”
It's ridiculous to suggest that the community meetings have really been "dominated" by people opposed to the Olympics. Here's an alternate perspective from Robin Jacks and Jonathan Cohn, both members of the group No Boston 2024 who have attended several of these meetings:
The meetings are advertised as “an opportunity to discuss the benefits of hosting the Games and impact on the City.” However, it is clear at these meetings that neither the mayor nor Boston 2024 [the private group trying to bring the Olympics to the city] is interested in a serious debate about whether or not the city should (or even wants to) host the Olympics.
The first hour of each meeting is taken up by a marketing pitch from Boston 2024, filled with massaged numbers, Olympic buzzwords and a personal narrative from John Fish about the ”transformative power of sport.” Although the meeting is nominally organized by the mayor and facilitated by a project manager from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, it is clear that it is Boston 2024, not city officials, who is in charge. (The appearance that a private, unelected group is running a city meeting is only enhanced by the fact that Mayor Walsh, the purported host, has shown up an hour late.)
At the most recent of these meetings, which occurred this past Tuesday, Mayor Walsh didn't even bother showing up.
Even if the majority of people attending these meetings and asking questions are opposed to the Olympics, that's probably just a reflection of the fact that most residents don't want the Olympics. The most recent WBUR/MassInc poll on the issue found that just 36% of Boston area residents support the Boston 2024 Olympic bid, while 52% are opposed. If we take Walsh at his word, he apparently doesn't believe that more than half the residents the area count as the "actual community."
This attempt to marginalize the opposition to the Olympics is arrogant. But that arrogance should come as no surprise because it has characterized nearly every Olympics-related move made by Walsh, like trying to ban city employees from criticizing the games and speaking out against a possible referendum.