In 2002, the Bakersfield Sister City Project Corporation (commonly referred to as Bakersfield Sister City) celebrated more than 40 years of affiliation with its Sister City of Wakayama City, Japan. Representatives from the Bakersfield community and from the City of Bakersfield traveled to Wakayama City to meet with dignitaries and further the cultural exchanges between the City of Bakersfield and Wakayama City. As a bonus, the travelers were able to enjoy the very rare and beautiful international flower festival held for the first time in Wakayama City.
With the cooperation and support of the City of Bakersfield, Bakersfield Sister City has over the years developed five sister City relationships--one with Wakayama City, Japan, one with the Partisan District of Minsk, Republic of Belarus, one with Cixi, China, one with Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico and most recently, one with Bucheon, South Korea. The Bakersfield Sister City board has subcommittees for each of its existing five sister city affiliations. Within the Sister City program, the tradition of individual volunteerism, rather than government sponsorship, is more prevalent in the United States than in other countries of the world.
Although Bakersfield Sister City is an entity separate from the City of Bakersfield, having its own articles of incorporation, bylaws, non-profit status, and board of directors, theMayor of the City of Bakersfield is an ex officio board director, has one vote and may appoint one board member of his choice to the board. The Mayor also serves as chairman of the board. The board president is the principal executive officer of the corporation and supervises and controls the business and affairs of the corporation, subject to the control of the board.
The goals of the Sister City program include the following:
To provide opportunities for city officials and citizens to experience and explore other cultures 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 technical exchanges and projects.
To collaborate with organizations in the United States and other countries which share similar goals.
The Sister City program provides the opportunity both for cultural, educational, municipal, business, professional and technical exchanges between different cities and for local community development and volunteer action by motivating and empowering private citizens, municipal officials and business leaders to conduct long-term programs of mutual benefit.
In January 1994, the City Council reaffirmed Bakersfield Sister City’s role as lead agency in developing and maintaining a relationship with sister cities, with the City Council considering and acting upon all proposed changes and additions to the Sister City Program (Resolution 5-94).
Wakayama City, Japan ( (1961)
The City of Bakersfield entered into its Sister City relationship with Wakayama City, Japan on August 21, 1961 as a part of the People to People Program begun by President Eisenhower (the steering committee which was the precursor to Sister City Program). Cultural and educational exchanges between the two cities have continued annually throughout the years, including school age as well as adult exchanges.
City of Minsk, Republic of Belarus (1995)
Since then, the City Council has approved four additional Bakersfield sister city affiliations. The affiliation with the Partisan District, City of Minsk, Republic of Belarus, was approved in June 1994 (Resolution 81-94).
City of Cixi, China (1996)
The affiliation with Cixi, China was approved in March 1996 (Resolution 38-96).
City of Santiago de Querétaro (2005)
The affiliation with the city of Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico was established in July, 2005, and approved by the Bakersfield City Council on February 2005 (Resolution 041 - 05)
City of Bucheon, South Korea (2006)
The affiliation with the city of Bucheon, South Korea was officially established at a signing ceremony that took place on September 25, 2006, and was approved by the Bakersfield City Council on September 2006 (Resolution 246 - -06).
Prior to the establishment of the sister city relationship, members of Bakersfield Sister City program visited and were visited by representatives of the proposed sister city community, interest was expressed by both Bakersfield and foreign country representatives, and eventually formal documents were signed signifying the desire to establish and then the establishment of the Sister City relationship.
In addition, the Bakersfield Sister City board of directors is exploring proposals for sister cities in Italy, and the Philippines.. Like the city of Bakersfield and the greater Bakersfield area, we are growing fast, and need community support to finance and support this expansion.
For more information on the Bakersfield Sister City program, go to:
Or write to:
Bakersfield Sister City Project Corporation
1600 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
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