Jeffrey Swainhart


We live in unprecedented times as our society deals with its collective and continuing traumas. Seward Co-op is a treasured community asset that can lead by example while the greater society (hopefully) reorganizes itself around the values of equity, environment and social responsibility. It is up to us to do this work.

We benefit greatly from those who established Seward Co-op 50 years ago and sustained it through the years. It is up to us to uphold those values and hand off an organization that is healthy, flexible and financially sound when we pass the baton to the next generation of leaders.

I see the co-op as an organism, a set of mutually beneficial relationships that not only attends to its own needs but also the environment and community in which it exists. It is like the Mother Tree in the forest of Seward, a primary community asset that benefits from and provides benefit to the community and to the world.

I came to Minneapolis 25 years ago attracted by the outdoor ethic, the Buddhist community, and the bookstores. When I came here, I worked for several construction businesses including an affordable housing developer. I finished my self-designed degree at Metropolitan State, creating a program that took my previous credits and added a business minor that should prove useful should I be elected. I restarted my construction business in 2004 specializing in environmentally sound building practices. I’m now ramping down my professional career, doing smaller projects and giving back to the community in various ways. I’m hoping that serving on Seward Co-op’s board will continue that path of service. I promise to learn from others and to do my best to serve the interests of the co-op and the greater community.