Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Yes!" is the right vote on Amendment 4 ... by gimleteye

EOM readers may feel a little dazed by the attention on this blog to Amendment 4, the ballot referendum brought by Florida Hometown Democracy. In readers' lifetimes, this will be the ONLY chance a measure critical of Florida's growth pattern will ever appear on a state-wide ballot. Let me say it again: this is IT. You will have one shot on November 2nd. That's all. The sheer grit and determination by a band of volunteers and citizen activists to push and pull this Constitutional amendment through the set of traps and obstacles and hazards set by the Chamber of Commerce and Florida legislature will never be equalled in our lifetime. I say this, after a lifetime of working the civic side of the ledger on protecting our quality of life and environment and public health. There is no back bench. No line-up of young people chomping at the bit to dig in and get their hands callused and dirty with civic engagement. I watched the older generation of community activists pass. I've tried to recruit, in Miami, the younger generation to the cause of activism. So at the risk of repetition: I'll say it again. Amendment 4 is it. It is the last time you will have a chance to vote on endless traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, and blighted communities as a result of bad land use planning by local officials. With only a few days left, why kick back now. One of the best editorial writers in the state, Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel, wrote a great piece in today's paper that deserves a special mention here. It supports our position in support of Amendment 4 on Nov. 2nd. Vote YES. Click 'read more'
What's that smell? Better power up the Malarkey Meter

Scott Maxwell
11:34 PM EDT, October 26, 2010
Orlando Sentinel

"I've heard from so many readers bewitched, bothered and bewildered by nasty campaign accusations that I decided to dust off the Malarkey Meter and start putting these claims to the truth test.

Here's the problem: The fibs and fabrications are so numerous that I couldn't fit them all in one column. So we'll run a half-dozen through the meter today. We'll have many more Friday.

But we're going to start with an expanded section featuring what may be the most distortion-filled campaign I've seen in the past decade — the pro-development attacks on Amendment 4.

The chamber of commerce crowd has been distorting things about this one for more than three years — and just recently got caught telling one of the worst whoppers this campaign season.

They started back in 2007 when they tried to con residents into thinking the amendment would hand decisions about local growth to "special interests." (That's not true unless you're a special interest. The proposal simply lets citizens vote on developments and growth matters in their own communities.)

It continued last year when they claimed the amendment was designed to "stop growth." (Planning officials later confirmed that a city like Orlando, for instance, already has enough future growth approved to nearly double in size, regardless what happens with Amendment 4.)

But the pinnacle of prevarication for the anti-Amendment 4 folks appeared in this very newspaper 10 days ago. It was a full-page ad that claimed Amendment 4 "will force counties and cities across Florida to raise taxes and fees," citing the widely respected as its source for that claim.

Here's the problem: PolitiFact never said such a thing. In fact, it later labeled that very claim as a "Pants on Fire" lie. And it's a bad scene when your supposed sources are calling you a liar.

Listen. I'll be the first to acknowledge there are legitimate questions and concerns about Amendment 4. But the anti-4 forces have rarely even flirted with legitimacy in their attacks."


Jordan said...

Lesley Blackner wrote an op-ed in support of Amendment 4 for us today:

Ryan Houck's op-ed opposing A4 will go up at 3 pm.

We asked both activists to specifically address why young Miamians should care about the outcome of Amendment 4. They obliged, to different degrees.

It seems that how you vote depends on whether you think Amendment 4 will necessitate a special election for any little change in the land use plans, or if you think only substantial changes will require a vote. It is this consideration that seems to have divided prominent columnists from their newspapers' editorial boards (Hiassen/Miami Herald, for example). In practice, I think A4 proponents' claims that only 3 - 4 changes will be voted on per year is closer to the truth than the other sides' claims that we will be funding an election every weekend. It won't happen because we can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

gimleteye, You are reading my mind. A handful of us activists have carried the ball for a long time. We are getting long in the tooth and are tired. Where is the younger generation? They will not realize what they have lost until it is too late. All we are asking is that they VOTE for amendment 4. It's pretty painless compared to what we have done for years. Yes, this is your last chance to keep a state we love from being totally paved in concrete.

Lee Allen said...

Forgot to note the obvious -- your choice of photo for this post is informative.

All of the "decades" of land supply on the books in various places in Florida looks pretty much like your photo -- low density sprawl.

The passage of Amendment 4 will ensure that the sprawl development pattern becomes permanent.

Milly Herrera, Hialeah said...

The unfortunate thing is that 51% is the majority and not 60%. We need at least 60% to win this, don't we? What if Amendment 4 wins by 57% of the votes?

Vote YES on Amendment 4.