I thought it might be interesting to get the perspective of someone immediately affected by the Democratic National Convention. I live at Longfellow Place, two short blocks from the FleetCenter in Boston. I wish I could share Julie Burns' view of this event as a boon to Boston, but as one of the tens of thousands of victims adversely affected by this event, I am afraid that my view is much darker.
My life will be totally disrupted. I won't be able to leave and return to my home without my car being searched (assuming that I would even be able to get to my front door on Staniford Street). Once I have left my car, I will have to pass security at my front door.
I am told that my street will be closed during the evening rush hour. The people in my building have been informed by the Boston police that elderly people in my building requiring cabs for doctors appointment or trips to the grocery market will be out of luck. No such service will be available for addresses on my street during the hours of the convention and for many hours before. There will be no public transportation to my neighborhood during the convention.
Many of the businesses on the lower floor of our building have decided to close for the entire length of the convention. In addition, we have been told the restricted access to our building will begin the Friday before the convention.
Please let me answer the question you did not ask. What will this mean for the city of Boston? It will mean that once again the people of our great city have been ill-served by our elected officials. It will mean hardship and inconvenience for the residents and loss of revenues for businesses in our neighborhood. It will mean a heavy restriction on our personal liberties. For me personally, what will it mean? It will mean a forced week's vacation the last week of July. I plan to get out of town, though one of Julie's staff did try to convince me and my neighbors that it was our “patriotic duty” to stay. I tell you what, if Julie wants to stay in Boston, she would more than welcome to use my apartment — except for one thing: We have been told that we are forbidden to let strangers use our apartment during this time period.
This meeting, in my view, is ill-planned and ill-considered. This meeting is all about the hubris of the Menino administration and a lack of respect for the hardship inflicted on the good citizens of Boston. I've always supported Mayor [Thomas M.] Menino, but he won't be getting my vote come the next election.
Director, Institutional Sales and Services, New England Journal of Medicine, Waltham, Mass.
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