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 upon Thames, England (Europe)
Contact: Marcus Squires
Saitama City, Japan (Asia)
Contact: Catherine Nexsen
Zhengzhou, China (Asia)
Contact: Diana Greer
Segou, Republic of Mali (Africa)
Contact: Ana Edwards
Olsztyn, Poland (Eastern Europe)
Uijeongbu, South Korea (Asia)
Windhoek, Namibia (Africa)
The Richmond Sister Cities Commission typically holds meetings the first Wednesday of each month from 5 - 6:30 p.m. These meetings are free and open to the public. These meetings are subject to change and other meetings and/or events may be added on a monthly basis, it is recommended to check with the Chairman of the Richmond Sister Cities Commission for updates on meetings, times, events, locations. The monthly meeting agenda typically includes the following:
- New Business
- Committee Reports
- Closing Remarks/Adjournment
First Wednesdays of the Month; 5 - 6:30 p.m.
Richmond City Hall – 2nd Floor Large Conference Room
Richmond City Hall, 2nd floor; 900 E. Broad St.
Recent Sister Cities Activities
Richmond’s partnership with Segou is our 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.
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.
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.
Annual baseball exchange between communities. The exchange features 30 10-12 year olds and their families who spend several days in Richmond visiting sites, playing baseball, and developing friendships and cultural understanding.
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.
Includes relationships with the Richmond Korean community and business exchange as well as educational and cultural programs.