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Last Updated: 2013-06-19

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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)
Est. 1938
Contact: Marcus Squires

Saitama City, Japan (Asia)
Est. 1993
Contact: Catherine Nexsen

Zhengzhou, China (Asia)
Est. 1994
Contact: My Lan Tran
Tel: 804.502.8081

Windhoek, Namibia (Africa)
Est. 1998
Contact: Marcus Squires

Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)
Est. 2009
Contact: Ana Edwards

Past relationships:

Olsztyn, Poland (Eastern Europe)
Uijeongbu, South Korea (Asia)

Contact Information:

Allison Miessler
Richmond City Council Boards and Commissions Administator
Richmond City Council Office of the City Clerk
Richmond City Hall
900 E. Broad St, Suite 200
Richmond VA 23219 USA

804.646.4089 (tel) (email)

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