Councillor calls for hearings on Olympics' diversity, sex trafficking

At-Large City Councillor Ayanna Pressley is filing two hearing orders related to Boston’s bid to host the 2024 summer Olympic games at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, according to documents provided to the Reporter.

One hearing would “analyze the diversity and inclusion plan from bidding process through the potential games,” while the other would “discuss comprehensive approaches to reduce sex trafficking around mega sporting events such as the Olympics.”

Representatives from Boston 2024, the private, nonprofit organization behind the Boston bid for the games, are specifically invited to testify in both circumstances, as well as the general public.

At the city-sponsored community meeting in South Boston on Feb. 24, a man from Cambridge raised questions of increased instances of sex trafficking around large sporting events, including the Olympics and World Cup. Many in the audience booed at the question and the Boston 2024. John Fish, the Boston 2024 chairman, paused before fielding the question, replying “I don’t think we’re in a position to answer that. That could happen anywhere…[answering] wouldn’t be appropriate.”

On Friday, the Boston City Council held its first hearing on the proposed 2024 games, chaired by Council President Bill Linehan of South Boston. Linehan declined to let councilors’ questions wade too far into specifics at the five-hour-long hearing, saying there would be opportunities for hearings on specific issues in the future.

Wednesday’s City Council meeting begins at noon.

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