On the death of the Boston Olympics

LHMOjgYV_400x400I know that there are people who are disappointed that Boston won’t be holding the Olympics, not the least of which are my 9 and 5 year old, who had dreams of watching the Olympic torch run through our streets. But the two of them also believe in Santa Clause, and damn, sometimes dreams need to die.

I think public school parents can learn a lot from the No Boston Olympic activists. They asked hard questions and demanded to be taken seriously. Some called them bullies but I recognized their behavior as people who were refusing to be silenced.

When I heard about the bid, and the city’s potential to underwrite billions of dollars for cost overruns, I was outraged.

A couple of years ago a group of BPS parents went to our legislators in the state house to ask for more money for public schools. We were not well received. We told them about the teachers who were being fired, and no books, and no water, and buildings that were falling down on our heads.

And our duly elected officials, shook their heads, and guffawed and scolded us for taking up their time. Then they reached into their pockets and turned them inside out and said, “We’re broke! The Commonwealth is broke! No money for you!”

Mind you, the state legislature has a constitutional obligation to fund the schools.

Not a month later, the legislator approved a billion dollar expansion to the convention center. That is where I saw that there may be no money for schools but there was money.

So how dare you even talk to us about a taxpayer funded billion dollar sporting event. How dare you talk about equestrian events in our parks when the social workers have been fired, and the teachers have to buy pencils, and the schools are without computers.

How dare you talk about temporary stadiums when our MBTA is held together with staples and duct tape.

How dare you.

You want an Olympics? I, the taxpayer, reached into my pockets and turned them inside out.

No money for you.

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