Howard Markert (Green)

Running for
ResidenceYoungstown, OH
EmployerSemi-retired, self-employed landlord. I moved to Youngstown in April of 2009 from Berkeley, California to start a new business as a landlord specializing in green renovated vintage apartment homes.

Family in office?None
Reasons for runningI am concerned about the banking industry refusing to lend in our communities by imposing minimum mortgage lending limits that are higher than the values of so many properties in our county. I propose to start a County Bank owned and run by the county on behalf of the taxpayers, this would create a new revenue stream for the county reducing the need for continual tax increases on property owners and this would also stimulate job growth in our county by offering micro business loans and creating demand for contractors to make improvements to homes and formerly blighted properties. This would be accomplished by providing micro mortgages, home improvement loans and micro business loans within the county.

I am concerned about the Ohio State Government taking away our right of local government and the wanton disregard for the sanctity of our right to clean water, air and land. As your next Mahoning County Commissioner, I will work towards enacting a Citizens' Rights Based Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing and Injection Disposal Wells throughout Mahoning County. I am concerned about the housing crisis and the foreclosures and blighted properties in our county. I pledge to pass a moratorium on foreclosure evictions in the county unless all required paperwork is presented at the initial foreclosure filing. No more fraudulent documents with “robo-signatures."
Priorities I propose to start a county central bank based on the successful State Bank of North Dakota ( This would stimulate job growth in our county by offering micro mortgages, home improvement loans, and micro business loans thus creating new business start-ups and demand for contractors to make improvements to homes and blighted properties. The profits from this bank would go into the general fund reducing the need for further property tax increases.

I will work towards enacting a Citizens' Rights based ban on gas drilling using high volume slick water hydraulic fracturing and injection disposal wells, as this presents serious risks to our property values and our environment. In the interim I will do everything I can within the law to slow down the drilling in our county or require the use of safer methods whenever possible. I will also be making sure that the county taxpayers are reimbursed for the additional wear and tear on our infrastructure that this activity brings with it.

I will work towards a moratorium on fraudulent foreclosure evictions in the county. Keeping Mahoning County families in their homes will help to maintain everyone’s property values, reduce blight, and crime.
QualificationsIn addition to my extensive sales and management experience and running a small business as a landlord, I have been involved in many local community organizations including: Grow Youngstown, Resettle Youngstown, Occupy Youngstown, Wick Park Neighborhood Association, and the West Side Citizens Coalition. I have served on the planning committees for the Grey to Green festival and Youngstown Pride Festival and as a board member of the Mahoning Valley Pride Center. I also had the pleasure of serving on the Youngstown Deconstruction Initiative Committee and the Youngstown Alternative Energy Committee.

I have been a member of the Mahoning County Green Party since moving to Youngstown and this year was selected to serve on the county committee. I attended both the State and National Green Party conventions this year.
Positions on the issues A lack of jobs is the primary issue I am hearing about, my plan for a county bank addresses this by creating an environment that will encourage a sustainable local economy that is not dependent on a single large industry.

I am opposed to shale oil & gas extraction using High Volume Slick Water Hydraulic Fracturing that permanently jeopardizes our water, air, & land; it is reckless to allow this to continue while safer methods and alternative energy sources are available and for state and local government to encourage this activity by offering lower than standard market value fees and taxes to this industry.

While many people talk about our high crime rate, most propose a solution of increasing law enforcement and jail sentences (both increase costs for local taxpayers). In researching the issue I have found that a majority of local crime is caused by a lack of entry level jobs, therefore, I would create local long term entry level jobs through the creation of a county bank that in combination with the Mahoning County Land Bank will make it much easier to buy and rehabilitate blighted properties creating a need for hundreds of construction jobs.
Offices Sought None. I am not a politician and I am not beholden to party machine politics or a few large money donors. I pledge to accept no donations larger than $100 per person or local business.