September 17, 2013

New Multnomah County Chair Marissa Madrigal vowed to maintain stability in day-to-day county business when she was sworn in to her new position on Tuesday.

Madrigal, 35, took the oath of office following the resignation of Jeff Cogen on Sept. 6. Madrigal, the interim designee for county Chair, is the youngest person and first Latino in the position.

“The path to this day has been trying for the county,” Madrigal said. “But I can assure you that there is no need to get back to work, because the work here never stopped.”

Madrigal said she will support the other commissioners on the board in the work they do to make the county a better place, including pushing forward on the Sellwood Bridge project, the downtown Courthouse, strengthening veterans services and helping youth succeed.

“The mission of the county is constant -- helping people,” Madrigal said. “Families like yours and mine. Helping every family thrive is what drives me to be a public servant.”

At one point of her speech, Madrigal addressed the audience in Spanish, saying she had a message for county residents who do not speak English.

“I promise that during the months I am in this position, I will work hard to maintain and improve the communication between you and the county,” she said, translating her previous remarks. “if we don’t have ways to speak and communicate with you in your language, whether it’s Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese, Sign or anything else, we aren’t serving you well enough.”

Madrigal thanked people for their support, including the board’s four commissioners, county employees and her family, whom she referred to as her “wonderful husband and two brilliant and adorable children.”

Madrigal will serve as acting chair until the May 20 election to fill the remainder of the existing term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014.

For more information about Chair Madrigal, visit the Chair’s Office web page.

Watch Chair Madrigal take the oath of office online.