The Richmond City Council Sister Cities Commission was established by Richmond Council in 1980.
The Commission operates under Council guidelines provided and by requirements of the Sister Cities
International organization, located in Washington, D.C. The 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 Richmond Sister Cities Commission (SCC) was lowered to 13 members.
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 maintains the following Sister City relationships:
- Richmond upon Thames, England (Europe)
- Saitama City, Japan (Asia)
- Windhoek, Namibia (Africa)
- Zhengzhou, China (Asia)
- Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)