Progress Florida — according to its website, “a nonprofit organization promoting progressive values through online organizing, media outreach, and networking with Florida’s leading progressive organizations” — just announced via press release that it is endorsing Amendment 4, the so-called “Hometown Democracy” amendment that Floridians will vote on this November.

The amendment, if passed, will require public approval of any changes to a community’s land use plans. “For too long we have watched deep-pocketed real estate speculators negotiate backroom deals with elected officials, who then run roughshod over local growth plans,” says Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo in his organization’s release. “As a result, Floridians now face gridlocked roads, depressed home values, higher taxes, inadequate infrastructure, critical water shortages, and the loss of Florida’s natural landscape to empty parking lots and vacant strip malls.”

Read the release in full after the jump:

Progress Florida, 80,000 online activists strong, today announced their endorsement of Amendment 4, which, if passed in November, would give Floridians the opportunity to veto or approve major changes to their communities’ growth plans.

“For too long we have watched deep-pocketed real estate speculators negotiate backroom deals with elected officials, who then run roughshod over local growth plans,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo.  “As a result, Floridians now face gridlocked roads, depressed home values, higher taxes, inadequate infrastructure, critical water shortages, and the loss of Florida’s natural landscape to empty parking lots and vacant strip malls.”

“We’re thrilled to have the largest Netroots organization in the state backing Amendment 4,” said Lesley Blackner, Chair of Florida Hometown Democracy. “In a state the size of Florida, the ability to engage voters effectively via the internet will be key to victory at the ballot box in November”

Launched in 2008, Progress Florida has quickly grown to be the largest, multi-issue progressive organization in the state, with 80,000 network members from Key West to Pensacola and thousands more part of its social network on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.  In 2009, Progress Florida was voted “Florida’s Netroots Organization of the Year” and in 2010, Progress Florida won additional accolades, including staffers Mark Ferrulo and Ray Seaman being inducted into the “Florida Netroots Hall of Fame.”

“Taxpayers bear the brunt of many costs associated with development, and deserve a vote before they are forced to pay higher taxes for new projects.” said Ferrulo.  “The time has come for voters to take back their communities and passage of Amendment 4 will do just that.”

Progress Florida is a non-profit, statewide organization supporting progressive solutions for Florida.  Visit us at www.ProgressFlorida.org.

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