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Everything posted by ToddSF

  1. Interesting that it was LA that contacted SF about the joint bid idea. I had thought this might happen, because LA has to realize that the government guarantee it needs could only come from the State, and not from a cash-strapped city government in California where most of the tax money goes to Sacramento. That was a main problem with Denver's 1976 bid. It was the State that had to pay, so activists put it on the ballot state-wide. Most people in Colorado don't live in Denver, so why should they pay? California is another state where it is easy to put things on the ballot. Any demand for State (or City) money is immediately going to generate a ballot initiative from people who don't want the Olympics. California's state government has the money to back it, but voters across the state would not approve that for LA. So it would almost have to be a statewide bid, or sellable as such, to get enough people to approve it. And even then, it's dicey of course.
  2. Sure, but I figure I have a bit of time. Another incentive to live a clean life.
  3. Well, although I was disappointed SF didn't win, I can't feel too bad since the chosen city is Boston. It's like losing a race to your older brother, whom you've always looked up to. SF is kinda like boston west, so if they are successful, maybe we can one day follow in their footsteps. Plus the northeast coriidor has never hosted, and that seems not quite right given its importance in the world. I hope Boston wins the bid and puts on a great, cost effective Games. If they do, it will help other cities in the U.S., like San Francisco, convince everyone that we can do it too. In recent bid years every US city has had to deal with the idea that LA is the only city in the US that can host a successful Olympics. If Boston is successful, that argument will go out the window. Plus, at the very least, this gives Mitt Romney something to do. On the politics in boston: As I've tried to argue on the SF thread, organized opposition, especially early in the bid process, can be productive. That has been our experience with building pro sports venues in sf. It should help bring discipline to the process so Bostonians don't get taken to the cleaners. So many interests see dollar signs in the prospect of an Olympics - you have to have something to counteract that. Thank your activists, and join them when they need it. Congrats, beantown. Do us proud.
  4. This just in: A KPIX 5 / SurveyUSA poll found overwhelming support for a Bay Area Olympic bid. In a survey of 500 adults across the Bay Area, 70 percent said they would like the games to be held here. Seven out of 10 also said hosting the 2024 games would be a huge boost for the local economy. The margin of error is 4.1 percent.
  5. The Transbay Transit Center is short about $300M the last I read. Not chump change, but it will get covered. That is the kind of project that requires public funds. Fortunately (or not) we have a well connected member of congress and a governor who has made High Speed Rail his #1 pet project. I am not a big fan of the HSR project, BTW. 65 billion dollars spread across California cities could build several amazing local transit systems, and instead what we will get is a little competition for the airlines who fly the SFO-LA corridor.
  6. One thing in San Francisco s favor is that we have found ways to build state-of-the-art pro sports venues with all private money: AT&T Park and now (it appears) the new Warriors arena. We were the first city to build a Major League ballpark that way. It's the combination of abundant private funding and citizens' insistence on not using public money for these projects that has made this possible. I think these projects are a good model for the Olympics, because they have come with transit improvements and grew out of extensive review that generated eventual public buy-in. Our teams are doing pretty well on the field/court too, which obviously helps.
  7. As a long-time san francisco resident and close observer of the politics, I'm going to take the liberty here of speaking for what I think is the dominant sentiment that will prevail if SF gets the bid. Not the anti-Olympics people who exist in every city and are just a vocal minority ("What a bother! The traffic, the crowds! Yuck!"), but rather the vast majority who show up on parade day when the Giants win the World Series, and so on. Here goes: We are a city of very fit, outdoorsy people who like sports (especially when our team wins) and we love a good party. We are great fans for the SF Giants and 49ers (even though the latter sort-of left us), and the Warriors will be welcomed back enthusiastically into their new arena. Our stadiums and arenas get built well and usually sell out. We are happy to have a ballpark/arena/regatta/(and yes) Olympics in our city, as long as we don't have to pay for it. We know that the bay area is swimming in private money, which can easily cover the costs of these things. That's what we insist on, and if private money builds it, we will come, we will cheer, and we will have a great time. OTOH, try to dip your hands into our treasury and we get very cranky. We are needy, with lots of transit projects in the pipeline, homeless and disabled people, underfunded schools, a health program that is supposed to cover every resident who doesn't have their own insurance, and a housing shortage. Unlike New York City, we are barred by our state's laws from having our own income tax, and we live with a state and federal government that often appear hostile to us. So just realize that we have a lot on our plates and we need our public money for our own needs. But the truth is that we would love to have the Olympics if it can be done without hurting our finances, and we will be good volunteers and do a great job with it if we get it. Thanks.
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