Marissa Madrigal became Multnomah County Chair Sept. 17, 2013, after an opening was declared by the Board of Commissioners following Jeff Cogen's resignation.
Marissa grew up in Los Angeles, Mexico City and Ridgefield, Wash. where she attended high school and Clark College earning dual credits. She entered the University of Washington at 18 holding junior status. Marissa earned a degree in zoology in 1998 and began writing and publishing a small local magazine.
In 2004, she managed the re-election campaign of Clark County Commissioner Betty Sue Morris. She loved the experience and in 2006, took over Jeff Cogen’s run for the Multnomah County Commission.
After his election, Marissa became the District 2 Commissioner’s chief of staff. She later became the Chair’s chief of staff when Cogen was appointed Chair of the Board. As chief of staff, Marissa oversaw day-to-day operations, his administrative team and the development of the chair’s budget.
Since her arrival at Multnomah County, Marissa has worked to ensure all residents have access to their government. “Access means that when people come to one of our buildings they feel safe. They feel they can give input and feel like they’re being heard. If we can’t communicate with people, we can’t serve them.”
That access extends to policies and procedures that affect daily life for all residents.
“When we make decisions, we need to make sure that we have all voices at the table,” she says. “Government has the responsibility to be ethical, transparent and efficient, but it also should strive for excellence.”
Marissa is a passionate advocate for children, and programs that support their health, education and well-being. She champions those efforts in our community that help those with mental health issues. And she believes that all people of Multnomah County, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation or economic status, have a right to thrive and prosper.
Marissa is married with two children, ages 3 and 10. She lives in Southeast Portland where she enjoys spending time with her family, working in her garden and sharing a mean mole.