Homegrown. Of all the words to describe Michael Seiwerath’s tenure with Community Roots Housing, this word, homegrown, seems the most organic – his remarkable gardening prowess aside. Michael’s relationship with Community Roots began as a resident. The turn of the millennium found Michael and his family moving into a Community Roots apartment; eight years later he joined the staff, and in the 12 years since, he has been instrumental in shaping the success and progress of the organization.
In addition to establishing the Community Roots Housing Foundation 501(c)(3), Michael played an integral role in the creation of the 12th Avenue Arts building, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Capitol Hill Arts District, and the $25 million collaborative Rise Together campaign (over $15 million of which was raised under his purview).
“Michael is not just a consummate fundraiser – he’s also an inspiring leader and has been my thought partner, moving forward the success of Community Roots Housing,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots.
Beyond his fund development, government relations, and communications work, Michael also helped to launch Community Roots’ Resident Services program, the COVID-19 Resilience Fund to support rental assistance, and a free meal delivery program to combat pandemic-induced food insecurity. On any given Thursday evening over the summer, Michael could be found packaging and delivering meals to affordable housing residents.
Michael’s commitment to purpose-driven work coupled with his extensive background in community building, real estate, and cultural space has landed him his new role as Executive Director of SouthEast Effective Development (SEED).
“Working at Community Roots Housing has been a joy. It’s hard to leave, but after a dozen years, it’s time to support new community building efforts,” Michael said. “I show up at SEED with humility, in service of building a more just Seattle.”
Community Roots Housing would not look the same today without the profound impact Michael had on the employees, the organization, and the community. For that, we are extremely grateful, and we wish him the absolute best in his new endeavor.