It was just two years ago that the Greater Boston region was in the thick of a high-stakes showdown over whether to proceed with a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. In January 2015, Boston was designated the US entry in the global competition for the 2024 Games.
It was all downhill from there.
MICHAEL JONAS: "I'm sure you've noticed this week even Mayor Walsh has already jumped back in. I feel like we're back at it, it's 2015 and we're going at it. He said it was a couple of opportunists he hears are writing a book, the book is actually already done. What was your reaction when you heard those comments? Do you feel like he still doesn't get what happened there or how did you read that?"
CHRIS DEMPSEY: "Well I was certainly disappointed to be called an opportunist. I think that was a little bit unfair. I wonder if the mayor were asked that question again whether he'd say the same thing. My sense is that he does appreciate that people on both sides of the Olympic debate were people that care about Boston and care about Massachusetts and wanted to see what was best for the city. I work at Transportation for Massachusetts now. I have a lot of overlap with what the city is doing, they're doing great things with transportation so we'll have an opportunity to work together I hope going forward. And as the bid fades to the past, whether there's an uncomfortable history in there or not, I think we'll find ourselves on the same side. I will at least, as a lot of the boosters on other issues."
ANDREW ZIMBALIST "Can I add, whereas I agree with the sentiments that Chris is expressing, I think that it's very disappointing to have the mayor of Boston engage in these childish ad hominem descriptions of us or anybody else. It's just inappropriate, and look, he, and we chronicle this I think very well in the book, he basically blew it. He threw democracy out the window. He was misleading and deceptive in his comments. He was also uninformed in his comments. One of the things he said in that interview that you referred to is that there are many falsehoods in our book but he also said that we were in the process of writing the book. He hasn't read the book. Why is he accusing us of falsehoods? [..accusing us of fake news-Editors. note] This is the same kind of misinformation I think he engaged in two years ago and frankly this is not a moment in history that he should be reliving. The best thing for him to do would be to apologize but if he can't do that then he should just forget about it and make no comments at all."
Go listen to the whole thing "No Boston Olympics, revisited" on Commonwealth Magazine Codcast.
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