Employee uses communications background to connect with community 

By Jimmy’a (jih-MY-uh) Carter, a summer intern for the Executive’s Office Customer Service team. Jimmy’a, a 16 year old who will be a junior this fall at West Auburn High School, plans to attend a four-year college and get a degree in youth counseling. She joins us from the Bridge to Prosperity mentoring program.

For more than 15 years, Marie Trigona has spent her career using media as a tool for advocacy and engagement. For the last two years, she has done this work as part of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP). As part of my Lift Every Youth internship through King County’s Equity and Social Justice Program, I met with Marie to learn about her job.

Marie Trigona

Pictured: From left, Marie Trigona and author Jimmy’a Carter.

Before she came to King County, she did communications and media work as an independent journalist reporting out of Latin America on radio.

Marie loves serving and protecting the community, so she wanted to work for King County because of the great work it does protecting the environment in our area. She says it’s one of the most dynamic county governments and regions in the United States and she gets to work on the county’s priority of combating climate change and striving to improve equity and social justice in the region.

She also gets to work with other people who are passionate about the environment and committed to serving and protecting the community. Marie says her role in the county is to use online tools to empower teams, improve online reach for county programs and public engagement, and help tell the county’s and customers’ stories through digital media.

So far, Marie has helped DNRP to grow its social media program from 10 pages and 5,000 fans to 30 pages and 35,000 followers. She also came up with the idea of expanding the county’s Movies at Marymoor Park to residents who speak Spanish and connecting them to other county programs and services.

For the past two years, Cine in el Parque Spanish movie night in White Center has drawn lots of Latino families to the county’s popular Steve Cox Memorial Park in southwest Seattle to connect with fellow residents and enjoy food trucks, information tables, entertainers, family-friendly games, and a 40 foot movie screen. The event is co-sponsored by White Center’s community development association.

One of the things that impressed me about Marie’s work was how she created the “Movies in the Park” and built it into a big community event that has huge community participation.

I didn’t know that King County did this work, but I was glad to meet Marie and learn that she continues to work on expanding social media access for all members for the community, regardless of what language they speak.