Washington DC - Habana Sister City project out of Howard University
Framers' Meeting Report: 4/16
National Framer's Meeting of US-CUBA Sister Cities Association, 3/19 - 3/21
US-CUBA SISTER CITY ASSOCIATION
Cuban spies continue to exploit 'Sister City' program 8/9/2009 Washington Times: by Chris Simmons
|The US-Cuba Sister Cities Association is sponsoring two upcoming events
in May and June of 2000, of which we hope you will be a part to help strengthen and expand
your work and interest in Cuba into long term, sustainable people-to-people partnerships,
community exchanges and eventually a full fledged "Sister City" relationship
with a community in Cuba. Also to help existing sister cities expand and improve projects
in Cuba, and gain support in their home communities.
1. Conference in Habana, Cuba, May 19-28: USCSCA representatives will meet with our Cuban counterparts for the purpose of discussing and determining the bilateral procedures and protocols necessary to fulfill our mission. The conference will be May 21-23rd. The rest of the week will be spent in the countryside facilitating different aspects of our work. The conference is only open to USCSCA membership. If you are not yet a member, there is still time to join. Existing sister cities will bring delegations, and members-at-large and sister cities in formation will be assigned regional or specialty groups to work with. This is the first of what we hope will become regular meetings with Cuban counterparts. Please contact USCSCA immediately for information, membership and conference eligibility.
2. Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, June 9-11th: Will be a nationwide meeting where we will continue getting our "own house in order." This meeting will offer "nuts and bolts" help for everyone, regardless of where they are in the sister city organizing scale. We will report back the procedures agreed upon with the Cubans that will move our work forward. We
will have an up-to-the-minute report on US Cuba relations from the Cuban Interests Section and how that impacts on our work, stateside. We will have useful workshops about a lot of things that make it hard to advance ourselves. We may have folks from Cuba if they can get visas, etc.
We recommend everyone who can attend this conference, it will be invaluable to your efforts. This conference will be held in a building on the lake designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It will be an incredibly uplifting weekend, phenomenal networking possibilities, and essential information to succeed in your work. Information will be forthcoming directly to help make your plans and reservations. Please contact Ricardo Gonzalez in Madison for reservations: Ricardo@cardinalbar.com
Thanks, for more information or your regional coordinator please contact: Lisa Valanti - 412- 563-1519 or USCSCA@AOL.COM
|For Immediate Release
DATE: September 27, 1999
CONTACT: Jay Higginbotham
Chairman, Society Mobile-La Habana
NATIONAL U.S.-CUBA SISTER CITIES CONFERENCE MEETS IN MOBILE
Mobile, Ala. -- The Society Mobile-La Habana is hosting the US-Cuba Sister Cities Association Conference, October 8-10, 1999. The conference will be held in Mobile, Alabama at the Radisson Admiral Semmes Hotel. The purpose is to foster sister city relationships and understanding through mutually beneficial exchanges between individuals, community groups, organizations, and institutions in the United States with counterparts in Cuba.
Representatives from the United States, London, and Cuba will attend to discuss how cities may forge their own sister cities. The conference will also be attended by city planners, council members, health care providers, clerics, academics, artists, and businessmen.
Nine U.S. cities already have created sister city relationships, including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Madison, Wisconsin. Representatives from all over the country from Florida to California--are expected to attend. The conference begins with a reception at 8:00 p.m., Friday, October 8. Workshops will occur on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., culminating with a banquet at 7:00 p.m. Workshops will continue on Sunday, 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
Workshops and panels will address current U.S. laws pertaining to Cuba;
the changing tide of public opinion regarding the U.S. embargo; developing sister city
relationships; religious issues in Cuba; and the future of U.S.-Cuba relations.
|Proposed Agenda: (Subject to change as per consensus) (Please reply to USCSCA@aol.com
US-Cuba Sister Cities
Association Conference (Tentative Agenda)
2. Vision Statement
3. Mission Statement
6. Member Services
7. For Further Information
~ Introduction ~
Sister cities provides an opportunity to create a unique model of community partnerships. These projects open the door to bilateral initiatives for people at all societal levels: individual citizens, local governments, media, business, religious groups, community, solidarity, organizations and institutions. By creating an opening for a unifying goal while amplifying each participants unique contribution to the efforts, it is a way for traditionally very diverse groups who would not otherwise find common cause to work together.
Internationally, sister cities have set a precedent for the legitimate role of an individuals right to engage in citizen diplomacy and active foreign policy. But today, within the US we face a challenge in creating viable projects with Cuba that protect the credibility and integrity of the sister cities concept.
Cuba enjoys sister city relationships with over 31 nations, and has countless sister agreements among organizations, institutions, religious groups and universities worldwide. Unfortunately, due to outdated US government policy, which despite major changes in the world, has not come under review for almost forty years, sister cities between people of the US and Cuba have been difficult to achieve. None-the-less, it has been done between Mobile, AL-Habana, Madison, WI-Camaguey, and Pittsburgh, PA-Matanzas. We are aware of at least nine other cities who have passed council resolutions of intent.
USCSCA hopes that in helping ordinary people see Cuba for themselves, together with our Cuban neighbors, we will help create a balanced dialogue that will promote a more positive relationship between our nations. With sister cities becoming a popular trend nationwide, US-Cuba Sister Cities Association was formed to assist this swell of citizen diplomats to succeed
in this rewarding endeavor to actively work to better international relations today.
Today we live in a world compressed into a global village by technology. USCSCA will assist cities in the process of establishing formal relationships with the people of Cuba who (due to US policy) are unable to be interactive with other developmental organizations. As international cooperation gains importance, city-to-city programs become increasingly significant to all parties involved. We will strive to create genuine people-to-people community connections with our neighbors in Cuba, based on mutual respect and reciprocal exchanges equally beneficial to all parties.
USCSCA believes President Dwight D. Eisenhower, correct when he said while introducing his creation of the sister city concept in 1956; The sister city program is an important resource to the negotiations of government in letting people themselves give expression to their common desire for friendship, good will and cooperation for a better world for all.
As citizen diplomats we desire to build upon this strong and solid foundation and advance our shared vision, as we move into the future to help create new opportunities for international understanding towards peaceful coexistence in the world.
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
~ Vision Statement ~
The US-CUBA Sister Cities Association has been created out of the efforts of citizens nationwide to form sister city partnerships with their counterparts in Cuba. It aims to build on their successes while limiting the frustrations related to re-establishing constructive relations between our peoples, nations and governments.
USCSCA believes the people of Cuba are part of our shared world and should not be isolated or exempted from the global community or refused the mutual benefits of sister city programs on the basis of political considerations or agendas.
At a meeting in New York City in September of 1998, while sharing our stories of the benefits and astounding successes of our sister city projects, participants noted the desire of many other cities to enter into equally beneficial mutual exchanges by developing official people-to-people community linkages. After trading our common experiences of the incredible warmth,
welcome and cooperation of the Cuban people; we decided to pool our joint experience and expertise to help others wishing to create sister city projects.
Recognizing another consequence of the lack of normal relations is that the Cuban people are unable to approach US cities with whom they might like to develop partnerships, a mechanism needed to be created that allows reciprocal exchanges. We envision this network as a means to establish principles and standards on which to build mutually beneficial and reciprocal
The US-CUBA Sister Cities Association, agrees to create a nationwide organization inviting people interested in learning more about sister cities and those already engaged in the work to join together to create a broad, new network between the people of Cuba and the people of the United States.
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
~ Mission Statement ~
To foster sister city relationships and understanding through mutually beneficial exchanges between individuals, community groups, organizations, and institutions in the United States with counterparts in Cuba.
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
~ Goals ~
* To develop community partnerships between US cities, counties, and states with similar jurisdictions in Cuba.
* To create opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore another culture through long-term community partnerships.
* To stimulate environments through which communities will creatively learn, work and solve problems together through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional, and technological exchanges and projects.
* To create an atmosphere in which mutual community and eventual economic development can be enabled and strengthened.
* To collaborate with organizations and individuals in the US & Cuba that share similar goals and objectives.
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
~ Activities ~
1) Help cities identify and choose an appropriate partner city in Cuba.
2) Create a nationwide register of sister cities in formation to eliminate duplications.
3) Put developing projects in touch with the appropriate Cuban counterparts and help them follow appropriate channels of communication.
4) Offer a national advisory network of people to interface offering peer support on all societal levels in developing projects.
5) Share local government resolutions and other forms of public recognition.
6) Help projects gain official recognition within their city.
7) Help with the logistics of delegations and trips to Cuba and coordinate tours of Cubans coming here to the US, especially, but not limited to educational & cultural groups.
8) Share strategies on public relations and media coverage.
9) Publish a nationwide newsletter reporting on our growth and activities.
10) Develop a national website with links to all other member sister cities projects.
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
~ Member Services ~
* USCSCA will strive to ensure that each project undertaken by its membership will reflect the diversity of its local network. It will promote the broadest diversity of ethnic and racial minorities, people who are physically/mental disabled, women, youth, and also reflecting diverse socio-economic status in all activities.
* USCSCA with the cooperation of Cuban counterparts, will:
* help a city register and select an appropriate partner city in Cuba.
* help coordinate linkages on all levels within the US and Cuba.
* share advice, experience and expertise from established sister city projects and emerging member projects.
* Help a project through the steps required to sign an official sister city agreement.
* USCSCA will provide information on resources, consultant and current affairs among other information.
For Further Information:
On how to begin a sister city project, or to be connected to people within your city who might already be working on a project, to register your interest in a city in Cuba, or to find out what cities in Cuba would like to have a sister city, or to get in touch with other sister city projects, nationwide, please contact:
US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
320 Lowenhill Street
Pittsburgh, PA. 15216
(412) 563-1519 Fax:(412) 563-1945 Email: USCSCA@aol.com
We expect to have a webpage shortly. We can also send information on how to join our organization.
Update on national formation meeting
|Dear Conference Participant,
I am hoping you are still planning on being able to join us for our US-CUBA Sister City Asssociation meeting to be held in Pittsburgh March 19-21. Your skills may prove to be especially helpful to the tasks at hand.
We have received overwhelming support in response to our conference call, many from different mayors and councilpeople or business and community organizations who have said they do not feel it neccessary for them to be part of the process of designing the organization, but do want to join it and participate fully once it is up and running. They don't care about its form so much as its functioning. They eagerly await a formal announcement of its coming into being.
So, the US-Cuba Sister City Association will be born of this meeting, as planned, but with more focused participation from people who have already formed projects, or who are in the maze now. Their experience, wisdom and cultural sensativites will be priceless in addressing the challenges of helping others travel that path. What we will be doing is the nuts and bolts work of organization building; creating a mission statement, clarifing goals, organizational structure, communication networks, data bases, finance mechanisms, and educational materials among other things. This meeting is going to be a serious working meeting, where everyone will be able to contribute to our collaboration.
It will also be important for organizations with national membership, who want to find a way to factor their Cuba work into larger city collaborations, or smaller groups who want to explore how to maximize the efforts to reach a larger audience. We have people coming representing cities nationwide who have confirmed their attendance.
We will also have with us a delegation from the Cuban Interest Section, including 1st Secretary Felix Wilson, Deputy Consul Eugenio Martinez, and if his schedule permits, chief of the Section, Fernando Ramirez, as some of our work will be to establish lines of communication with cities in Cuba. Also, we will hear from them, the Cuban perspective on Sister Cities and their experience with the complexities of these ventures.
The meeting will be chaired by Councilman Jim Ferlo, and held in City Council chambers with an opening session beginning at 7 pm on Friday evening. For accommodations, or transportation help, please email me back (LisaCubaSi@aol.com). I will be away until March 13th, so you may also contact Brenda Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 412-361-3424 for logistical information.
We need everyone, including you, to make this work. Hope you will be one of the founders of what promises to be a whole new level of opportunity in normalizing relations between US & Cuba. Please come and make a little piece of history.
- Lisa Valenti
National formation meeting of US-CUBA Sister Cities Association, 3/19 - 3/2121
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 16:26:40 EST
Subject: US-CUBA Sister Cities Association
You are invited to attend or send representation to the national formation meeting of this organization to be held March 19-21, 1999, in Pittsburgh Pa. For details RSVP contacts listed below. Many cities are expected, as is the Cuban Ambassador among other Cuban officials.
US-CUBA SISTER CITIES ASSOCIATION
These projects and process opens bilateral initiatives for partnership by people at all
local grassroots levels - citizens, local government, media, business, community,
solidarity, religious groups, organizations and insituations. It also creates a common
ground for traditionally very diverse groups who would not find other common cause.
See update to this message
September US Cuba Sister Cities Meeting
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 19:43:25 EDT
Subject: US-Cuba Sister Cities Association
Last week nine US cities were represented at a meeting in New York, all of which were in the process of forming "Sister City" relationships with cities in Cuba.
As was well documented at that meeting, the lack of normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, makes creating "Sister City" projects with Cuban counterparts a very exciting but challenging task for all parties involved. Since "Sister Cities International" does not yet recognize projects with Cuba, it was decided to create an organization to share our experiences and help facilitate the special needs of those forming such relationships.
Lisa Valanti of the Pittsburgh-Matanzas Sister City project was elected acting President of this new joint venture, and Richard Gonzalas from the Madison- Camaguey Sister City project, acting Vice-president. "US-Cuba Sister Cities Association" is its proposed name.
It was also determined to convene a meeting at the end of January in Washington DC where anyone interested in beginning such a project with their city, or anyone already engaged in the process, could attend and we could "network" as well as become a network, nationally, with our mission to assist all cities in achieving solid Sister City relationships.
A meeting date will be announced shortly. In the meantime, interested parties may contact LisaCubaSi@aol.com for basic information on how to choose a city, forming a committee, getting support from city officials, etc.
Sisterhood is a powerful thing!
About.com has started a thread on an emerging controversy between the US Cuba Sister Cities Association and the Sister Cities International Program, which is objecting to the USCSCA use of their term and has refused to help, most likely because, like many US "NGO's," they are fearful of losing federal funding. But Americans are free, right?
Bloomington, IN Sister City Site
March 30, 2000 - USCSCA launched a new web site to serve as focal point for their activities.
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