Mayor Ron Nirenberg

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Published on Friday, November 22, 2019


CONTACT: Carolina Krauskopf
Communications Manager at SCI

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 21, 2019) – Two historic and influential global nonprofits signed an agreement to improve relations among its organizations. The historic signing took place on Tuesday, Nov. 19 in San Antonio.

The National League of Cities (NLC) and Sister Cities International (SCI) agreed to develop better communication, networking, and outreach between membership cities, states, and countries who have active memberships. This commitment signifies a more targeted effort and initiative to tackle important global issues that affect our communities. This includes, but is not limited to, economic growth, environmental protection, and political discourse.

“City to city diplomacy creates the infrastructure for future peace and prosperity between nations,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who currently sits as Chairman of Sister Cities International (SCI). “Every city has a role in strengthening public diplomacy and the significance of city diplomacy in this era of geopolitical challenge cannot be understated. Bringing local government by way of the National League of Cities closer to this goal through collaboration with Sister Cities International will be transformative.”

NLC and SCI have a shared history. NLC has served U.S. cities, towns, villages and state municipal leagues since 1924. SCI’s origins date from the 1956 White House Summit on Citizen Diplomacy. The NLC, then the American Municipal Association, approved participation in a joint cooperative program with the Civic Committee of People-to-People to further the U.S. Sister Cities program on July 24, 1957 for sustained community to community connection.

“The National League of Cities is proud to formalize our partnership with Sister Cities International,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director of the National League of Cities (NLC). “This partnership represents an important step in our shared commitment to building stronger, more prosperous communities. There is no better place to sign this agreement than in the global city of San Antonio, Texas, as we kick off NLC’s 2019 City Summit conference. We look forward to the important work that lies ahead.”

As its Town Affiliation Program, SCI was spun out and incorporated as an independent public benefit organization in 1967. Since then, NLC and SCI have cooperated on a periodic and/or episodic basis. This MOU is intended to formalize continuing collaboration for programmatic and cost efficiency, and leveraging each organization’s strengths.

“This is a significant moment in the history for our country, to have two of the biggest city membership organizations come together to build a stronger and more prosperous America,” said Roger Mark De Souza, President and CEO of Sister Cities International. “We will be connecting on another level with the rest of the world to improve partnerships and communication between global communities.”

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