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Photo credit: Monica A. Menco/Artesia Animastra Vineyard
Photo credit:  Monica A. Menco/Artesia Animastra Vineyard

Fostering Global Citizen Diplomacy

Sister Cities International (SCI) was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 during the Cold War Era as a 501(c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, national membership organization to serve a network of tens of thousands citizen diplomats around the globe who champion peace and prosperity. Through the SCI program platforms, over 145 countries have hosted visiting International leaders, engaged in cultural and arts exchanges, developed youth and education programs, provided humanitarian assistance, and stimulated economic and sustainable development.

Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA) was established on September 8, 1986, by official agreement between SCI and the City of Sonoma, as a nonprofit organization to create long-term partnerships between Sonoma and communities in other countries where we have mutual, beneficial interests. Today, SSCA has seven sister city relationships that extend to four continents. Our citizen diplomats are ordinary citizens who, as a group of volunteers, pursue municipal, business, trade, educational, humanitarian, social and cultural exchanges with our sister cities. Under the auspice of the City of Sonoma and with the support of local elected officials, we are a driving part of SCI’s global network of sister city partnerships.

Learn About SSCA

Our Mission

Through international people-to-people relationships, our mission is to promote global peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation – – one individual, on community at at time.  This mission is advanced through four broad-based goals with our global partners to

  1. Facilitate cultural and arts exchanges
  2. Support humanitarian assistance projects
  3. Offer youth and educational programs
  4. Stimulate economic and sustainable development
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Meet the Board of Directors

Pictured: (Back Row/L-R) Joanne Sanders (Chamson Chair), Patrick Garcia (Patzcuaro Chair), Barry Walner (Bocce Sonoma), George McKale (Treasurer and Aswan Chair), Hans Steuck (Vice-President) (Front Row/L-R) Sylvia Toth (Tokaj Co-Chair), Monica Menco (Communications and Public Relations Director), Farrel Beddome (President), Diana Short (Greve Chair), Violet Espiritu (Secretary), Gigi Pfleger (Membership)  Not Picured:  Joan Toth (Tokaj Co-Chair) and Jack Ding (Compliance)

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Sonoma City Hall

Experience History in The City of Sonoma

A History of International Relationships

The first sister city relationship was between the City of Sonoma and the City of Chambolle-Musigny, France.  With more sister city relationships to follow, the Sonoma Sister City Association was established by official agreement, signed on September 8, 1986, between the City of Sonoma and Sister Cities International (SCI). Today, we have 7 Sister City Committees all operating under the aegis of SSCA . Each of our committees work with SSCA to advance our mission and that of SCI, creating the opportunity for citizen to citizen diplomacy.  Over the years, our Sonoma City Mayor and several members of the City Council have been personally involved with delegation visits and have been on delegation visits abroad. Over the years, SSCA, with the vision of the City of Sonoma, has been an important factor in the recognition of Sonoma as international tourism destination.

Rich Historical Beginnings and Landmarks

The town of Sonoma, centered on the Sonoma Plaza, is a historically significant town in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA, which is just 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Here the Bear Flag Revolt took place in 1846 which led to independence from Mexico and California becoming a state of the United States on September 9, 1850.   Many historical landmark adobe buildings surround the Plaza, including the Sonoma Barracks and Mission San Francisco Solano which was built in 1824 and was the last of the 21 Franciscan missions built in California during the 1800’s. Sonoma City Hall, pictured above, was built in 1846, is still in use today.  It is a focal point on the Plaza, which is itself a National Historic Landmark.  Sonoma is known for its “slow” food culture and Sonoma County is a center of the California’s wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation.  Many residents of Sonoma are third or fourth generation Italian-Americans and French-Americans, descendants of immigrants who came to the area to work in wine making.    Click here for more infromation about the City of Sonoma.

Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:C.Maylett

Volunteer Opportunity with SSCA – Board Secretary Position Available

The Secretary sits on the SSCA Board of Directors and is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient records of the Board’s business exist to document the conduct of [...]

Chinese New Year Starts on February 16, 2018 !

Xin Nian Kuai Le–Locals Celebrate the Chinese New Year By Pat Carter,  member Sonoma–Penglai Sister City Committee The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival (Chun Jie, [...]

The Sonoma Sister Cities Association Welcomes a New Board President and Treasurer for 2018

Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA) will begin 2018 with new President George McKale.  If that name sounds familiar, it might be because he’s also Sonoma’s City Historian.  Having previously [...]

Tokaj Sister City Committee Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary!

On September 14, 2017, The Sonoma Sister Cities Tokaj Committee celebrated our five-year anniversary with a wine and cheese party at Buena Vista Winery.  We had a great crowd [...]

“An Evening in Tokaj” – NEW DATE: SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018

Good News!  Our "Evening in Tokaj" bi-annual fundraiser, originally scheduled for last November, was postponed due to the wildfires which crippled the Sonoma and Napa County areas.  This event [...]

Welcome to Hungarian Ambassador

Buena Vista Winery and a delegation from the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities committee welcomes the new ambassador from Hungary to the U.S., Dr. Laszlo Szabo, and Dr. Akos Horvath, senior advisor, [...]

The Sonoma Sister Cities Association Welcomes a New Board President and Treasurer for 2018

Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA) will begin 2018 with new President George McKale.  If that name sounds familiar, it might be because he’s also Sonoma’s City Historian.  Having previously [...]

The SSCA Board of Directors is seeking a new Board Secretary.   Click here to see the complete job description of this volunteer position.

We are looking for a person to take the lead and re-energize our Kaniv Committee.   If you’d like to explore this opporunity further, please contact George McKale 707.509.3571.

Upcoming Events

Feb
20
Tue
SSCA Monthly Board Meeting Moved to Tuesday, February 20th
Feb 20 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Mar
10
Sat
An Evening in Tokaj @ Burlingame Hall
Mar 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Mar
12
Mon
Penglai Committee Meeting @ Jacuzzi Winery
Mar 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Mar
15
Thu
1848 Revolution Memorial Day (Hungary)
Mar 15 all-day
Sonoma-Tokaj Committee Meetings @ TBD - Call Sylvia at 707-938-0224
Mar 15 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

PLEASE COME to one of our meetings! Call Co-Chair Sylvia at (707) 938-0224 for all info.

There is no cost to be a member of the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee, but we do ask that members join Sonoma Sister Cities Association, our parent organization which holds the 501- c 3 designation.

Mar
19
Mon
SSCA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ Sonoma Creek Club House
Mar 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Apr
9
Mon
Penglai Committee Meeting @ Jacuzzi Winery
Apr 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Apr
16
Mon
SSCA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ Sonoma Creek Club House
Apr 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Apr
19
Thu
Sonoma-Tokaj Committee Meetings @ TBD - Call Sylvia at 707-938-0224
Apr 19 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

PLEASE COME to one of our meetings! Call Co-Chair Sylvia at (707) 938-0224 for all info.

There is no cost to be a member of the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Committee, but we do ask that members join Sonoma Sister Cities Association, our parent organization which holds the 501- c 3 designation.

Apr
25
Wed
Liberation Day (Italy) 1945
Apr 25 all-day
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