Walsh Defends Agreement Limiting Speech Of City Employees On Olympics

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is "not looking to limit free speech," a spokeswoman said, regarding his signing of an agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee that forbids city employees from criticizing Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Games.

According to the agreement released Wednesday, city employees are banned from any public comments that "reflect unfavorably" on Boston's 2024 bid, the USOC or the International Olympic Committee.

The deal added that city employees "shall each promote the bid ... in a positive manner."

"Mayor Walsh is not looking to limit the free speech of his employees and, as residents of Boston, he fully supports them participating in the community process," said Laura Oggeri, his chief communications officer. "This was standard boilerplate language for the Joinder Agreement with the USOC that all applicant cities have historically signed. The Mayor looks forward to the first citywide community meeting that will be held next week."

The first of nine community meetings is planned for Tuesday at Suffolk Law School.

The joinder agreement between Boston and the U.S. Olympic Committee was provided in advance of a media briefing Wednesday and after a public records request.

The Boston Globe first detailed the joinder agreement.

With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and State House News Service


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