Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission to hold meeting


Richmond City Council – Richmond City Hall - 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 200 - Richmond, VA 23219 - www.council.richmondva.gov



Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission to hold meeting

Includes information regarding work and ongoing projects

WHAT The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission will hold a meeting regarding its work and ongoing projects. This meeting is free and open to the public and all Richmond residents are invited and encouraged to attend. The meeting agendas typically include the following:

• Welcome

• New Business

• Updates

• Committee Reports

• Closing Remarks/Adjournment

WHEN Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5:00-7:00 p.m.

WHERE Richmond City Hall-2nd Floor Large Conference Room

Richmond City Hall, 2nd floor; 900 E. Broad Street

WHO Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission

CONTACT For more information, please contact: Susan Nolan, Chairman, Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, at 804.690.3473 (mobile), or susannolan@verizon.net (email).

BACKGROUND ______________________________________________________________________

One of Richmond City Council's more than 50 official boards, task forces and commissions that it has created and that assists with providing oversight of certain projects and priorities, the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission was established by Richmond City Council in 1980 and operates under Council guidelines and by requirements of the Sister Cities International organization, located in Washington, D.C.

The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission consists of 13 members, of whom at least one is a Councilmember. Commission members are appointed by Richmond City Council for a term consisting of three years and no person appointed is eligible to serve more than two successive terms, although persons appointed to fill vacancies may serve two additional successive terms. Members appointed to the Commission are required to either reside or work in the City of Richmond. Originally comprised of 19 members, in 2009 membership was lowered to 13.

An early champion of international relations, Richmond began a relationship with its namesake, Richmond Upon Thames, England, in 1930. In 1956 a formal Sister City concept was established in the United States of America by U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower's idea called for exchanges between Americans and people in other countries, with a goal of fostering peace, understanding and harmony.

The term “Sister City” is used to express a closeness that is engendered through commonalities between communities. Formal friendships are then established to promote cultural understanding and educational and economic prosperity.

For example, cities linked with Richmond are generally capital cities with comparable populations, notable points of historic interest, and potential opportunities for economic development and trade.

Globally, there are more than 2,400 Sister City partnerships in 134 countries. Nineteen Virginia cities represent approximately 50 of those partnerships. This includes seven in Richmond.

Richmond Sister City Relationships

Richmond currently maintains the following Sister City relationships:

1. Richmond upon Thames, England (Europe)

2. Saitama City, Japan (Asia)

3. Olsztyn, Poland (Eastern Europe)

4. Uijeongbu, South Korea (Asia)

5. Windhoek, Namibia (Africa)

6. Zhengzhou, China (Asia)

7. Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)


Throughout the year, Richmond City Council receives requests from citizens and interested cities regarding its Sister Cities Program, which are shared with the Commission.

Recent Sister Cities Activities _________________________________________________________

Republic of Mali

Richmond’s partnership with Segou is Richmond's city’s newest Sister City relationship. Richmond and Segou became Sister Cities in 2009 following the adoption of Richmond City Council Resolution 2009-R99-109, adopted July 27, 2009 that invited Segou to be a formal Sister City of Richmond, and the formalization of the relationship in Richmond on October 12, 2009 with a visiting delegation of dignitaries from Segou.

In April 2010 Richmond was awarded a $115,000 grant from Sister Cities International for a two-year African Sustainability Project that will be used to assist with performing projects in Segou that will assist with addressing sanitation, health, and water issues. On May 10, 2010 Richmond City Council received and welcomed a visiting delegation from the Republic of Mali. The delegation included six members of the country’s government who were in Richmond for the day as part of a government training program sponsored by the Institute for Global Training, USAID in Washington D.C. and were being show state and local government by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center’s Virginia Institute of Government.

On October 6, 2010 the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission and members of Richmond City Council and the Richmond Government Administration welcomed The Honorable Ousmane K. Simaga, Mayor of Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa); The Honorable Madani Sissoko, Councilman, Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa), President of the Segou Sister City Commission; and, a number of additional dignitaries from Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa), during its monthly meeting.

Richmond upon Thames

2008 visit from the Mayor and Councilmember's to Richmond; 2007 visit of Mayor and Councilmembers. Coordinated planning and events leading up to Virginia’s 400th-year celebration in 2007.

Zhenghou, China

Continue supporting teacher exchanges and exchanges of art and culture through museums, economic trips to China (conducted by Governor of Virginia with representation from Richmond). A book collection was presented to Richmond citizens from Zhengzhou citizens, which is displayed at the City’s Main Library.

Saitama, Japan

Annual student, academic, sports and cultural exchange programs.

• From August 3-8, 2012 Richmond welcomed Japanese Little League Baseball team players for the 18th Richmond City Council Sister Cities Richmond-Saitama International Junior Baseball Exchange. This exchange marked the return to the exchange for the first time since 2010, as the 2011 events were canceled due to tragic earthquake and tsunami that severely impacted Japan. During their week-long stay, the little leaguers enjoyed international cultural exchange and played baseball games with Little League in the Richmond area. The visiting Saitama team included 17 players, one City Official, four coaches and an emergency technician. The first baseball exchange began in Richmond in 1994 and rotates each year from Richmond to Saitama. The visit, games and friendships fostered during the little leaguers’ visit to Richmond are sterling examples of the partnership and collaboration between Richmond and Saitama, one of Richmond’s six international Sister City relationships.

• On June 23, 2012, three educators visited Richmond from Saitama, Japan for two weeks as part of Richmond Sister Cities Commission Educational Exchange program. That marks the 13th year of this successful educational exchange program which began in 1998.

• In March of 2012, 10 high school students and two teachers from Urawa Municipal High School in Saitama, Japan visited Richmond to as part of a week-long Richmond Sister Cities Commission Educational Exchange program.

Windhoek, Namibia

August 2007: the U.S. State Department brought a camera crew to Richmond from Windhoek coordinated events. July 2003: Richmond donated a Fire Truck to Windhoek.

Uijeongbu, South Korea

Includes relationships with the Richmond Korean community and business exchange as well as educational and cultural programs.

For more information regarding the Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission, please visit its website, at http://www.richmondgov.com/CommissionSisterCities/index.aspx

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Steven R. Skinner, APR

Council Public Information Manager



Richmond City Hall

900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305

Richmond, Virginia 23219

804.646.6052 (office)

804.335.4054 (mobile)

804.937.1386 (home/mobile)

804.646.5468 (fax)

steven.skinner@richmondgov.com (email)



MISSION The mission of Richmond City Council

is to represent citizens in creating and amending

local laws, providing government policy and

oversight, and approving the city budget.

VISION Richmond City Council is committed to

creating a vibrant community that is a great place

to live, work, learn, play, visit and raise a family.