Washington, DC – Reps. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-06) and Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) today introduced a resolution to recognize July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day. Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for 570 member communities with 2,300 partnerships in 150 countries on six continents. Celebrating their 60th anniversary, Sister Cities International’s mission is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.”

“The partnerships developed by Sister Cities International have helped foster peace by cultivating connections between different cultures,” DeSantis said. “Partnering our communities with international cities provides the opportunity to develop relationships and projects that benefit our relations with people in foreign countries. For the past 60 years, Sister Cities International has had a positive impact on my district and beyond, and I am proud to introduce this resolution to designate July 15, 2016 as Sister Cities International Day.”

St. Augustine, located in DeSantis’ congressional district, currently holds partnerships with George-Town, Great Exuma, Bahamas; The Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Aviles, Spain and Ciudadella de Menorca, Spain. Volusia County currently holds partnerships with Campeche, Mexico; Bayonne, France; and Diamantina, Brazil.

Mary Kane, President and CEO of Sister Cities International, stated, “The concept of citizen and people-to-people exchange has always been an essential first step to building mutual understanding and respect between nations and their citizens. As we’ve seen time and again in the years since Sister Cities International was founded, governments (and even countries) come and go, but cities and their people remain. We hope this global day will help more people understand the important role that everyone plays in making this world a more peaceful place.”