Led by Floridians for Smarter Growth, the business community is ready for battle
(ORLANDO, FL – June 22, 2009) The radical “Hometown Democracy” proposal failed to reach the ballot in 2004, 2006 and 2008. However, the Secretary of State today certified the anti-jobs amendment for the 2010 ballot. It will appear on the ballot as Amendment 4.
Amendment 4–a “Vote on Everything” initiative that would force taxpayers to fund elections for thousands of technical planning changes–is opposed by a broad coalition of over 135 environmental, business, labor, planning and community groups throughout the state. This growing coalition includes 1000 Friends of Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Council of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association.
“The ‘Vote on Everything’ amendment could mean a permanent recession for Florida’s economy,” said Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and treasurer of Floridians for Smarter Growth. “This amendment will hopelessly complicate the planning process and indefinitely stall our state’s economic recovery.”
A local version of Amendment 4 has already been tested in the small Pinellas county town of St. Pete Beach, which adopted a “Vote on Everything” measure in 2006. Since then, local residents have suffered through a virtual economic collapse and endless lawsuits at taxpayer expense. In St. Pete Beach, “Vote on Everything” supporters have even filed numerous lawsuits to overturn the very election their amendment required.
“The story of St. Pete Beach is proof positive that this idea costs jobs and wastes taxpayer money,” said Ryan Houck, executive director of Floridians for Smarter Growth (FSG), the statewide campaign opposing Amendment 4. “Far from empowering voters, it has caused endless frustration at the ballot box and needless litigation at taxpayer expense.”
“Floridians for Smarter Growth has organized a very strong grassroots campaign organization,” said Wilson. “We have expanded our local leadership teams and grown our statewide coalition. Floridians for Smarter Growth is prepared to debate the ‘Vote on Everything’ amendment in every community in Florida.”
Floridians for Smarter Growth (FSG) was founded by Sunshine State business and community leaders to educate voters on the impacts of Amendment 4. Today, Floridians for Smarter Growth leads a grassroots team of nearly 1000 dedicated volunteers and 135 opposition groups.