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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

Heartfelt Letter from Our Friends in Tokaj

Dear Sonoma-Tokaj Sister City Association, We are sadly watching the fires in California reaching and destructing Sonoma County and homes of Sonoma people. Here in Hungary, it is hard [...]

The Annual SSCA Holiday Party Is Happening 1 December 2017 – Read On

Click here to read all about it.

“An Evening in Tokaj” – This Event Has Been Postponed

"An Evening in Tokaj" has been postponed from its orginal date of 11 November 2017.   Watch this website, the newsletter, and your emails for information about when it [...]

  • created by Monica Menco

Save the Date – The SSCA Holiday Party is Friday, December 1st

Good news! The SSCA annual Holiday Party will be on the evening of Friday, December 1st. Click here for all the details.

SSCA Board of Directors Vacancy: Position of Secetary

Effective immediately,  the SSCA Board of Directors is seeking a candidate to fill the position of Board Secretary.  The Secretary serves on the Board as a voting director and [...]

Sonoma Welcomes 2017 Wine Interns from Tokaj

Our two wine interns from Tokaj, Peter Majoros and Kristof  Peto, arrived the week of August 21 and were greeted by Tokaj Sister Cities Committee Co-Chairs Sylvia and Joan [...]

Testimonial from a Former Sonoma-to-Tokaj Wine Student

In 2014 the Sonoma Sister Cities Tokaj Committee sent two students from Santa Rosa Junior Collete to Tokaj for a five-week study tour of the wine regions of Hungary.  [...]

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 Farrel Beddome at 916-715-4557.

Upcoming Events

Dec
14
Thu
Sonoma–Chambolle-Musigny Sister City Anniversary 1959
Dec 14 all-day
Dec
18
Mon
SSCA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ Sonoma Creek Club House
Dec 18 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dec
21
Thu
Sonoma-Tokaj Committee Meetings @ TBD - Call Sylvia at 707-938-0224
Dec 21 @ 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.

Jan
1
Mon
Penglai Committee Meeting @ Jacuzzi Winery
Jan 1 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Jan
15
Mon
SSCA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ Sonoma Creek Club House
Jan 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Jan
18
Thu
Sonoma-Tokaj Committee Meetings @ TBD - Call Sylvia at 707-938-0224
Jan 18 @ 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.

Feb
5
Mon
Penglai Committee Meeting @ Jacuzzi Winery
Feb 5 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Feb
15
Thu
Sonoma-Tokaj Committee Meetings @ TBD - Call Sylvia at 707-938-0224
Feb 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.

Feb
19
Mon
SSCA Board of Directors Monthly Meeting @ Sonoma Creek Club House
Feb 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Mar
5
Mon
Penglai Committee Meeting @ Jacuzzi Winery
Mar 5 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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