Renton Sister Cities Association
The Renton Sister Cities Association (RSCA) is a nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Renton to enhance citizen understanding and appreciation for other cultures and promote international goodwill and cooperation through people to people relationships world-wide. Programming will provide opportunities which engage Renton residents, organizations, groups, government, and businesses through social, cultural, humanitarian, arts, health, economic, and educational activities, events, and exchanges. Currently, Renton's Sister Cities are Nishiwaki, Japan (established 1969), and Cuautla, Mexico (established 2001).
Involvement and participation in Renton's two sister cities, Nishiwaki, Japan, and Cuautla, Mexico, enhances cultural awareness and mutual appreciation, creates lasting community friendships, provides opportunities for professional exchanges, and strengthens international relationships.
Sister city programs and activities include:
- Expanding citizen understanding of other cultures by promoting an awareness of cultural diversity
- Providing opportunities for social, cultural and educational enrichment
- Supporting humanitarian efforts
- Exchanging public art
- Encouraging opportunities for tourist promotion
- Sharing expertise in municipal problem-solving
- Coordinating official delegation visits
Although official partnerships begin between the governments of the two cities, the strength and vitality of a long-term association rests in the hands of citizen volunteers, participants, partnerships, and the Renton Sister Cities Association. Sister city committees are comprised of representatives from Renton businesses, service clubs, Renton School District, Renton Chamber of Commerce, and residents.
To become more involved or for more information about the Renton Sister Cities Association, please contact:
RSCA President: Roger Richert or call 206.232.1700.
RSCA Secretary: Andee Jorgensen or call 425.255.4161.
At the City of Renton, email Sonja Mejlaender or call 425.430.6514.
In August 2001, the City of Renton established a new Sister City relationship with Cuautla, Jalisco, Mexico.
The State of Washington and the Mexico State of Jalisco have a Sister State relationship that helped lay the foundation for the bond between Renton and Cuautla. Located in the mountainous region of southeast Jalisco, Cuautla is a small community of about 3,000 people. Fundamental to the special connection between Renton and Cuautla, are Cuautla's "Absent Sons", of which many live in or near Renton. The "Absent Sons", as they are referred to in Cuautla, are a band of greater Puget Sound Region restauranteurs who left Cuautla when they were young men, came to the United States, and opened the majority of the Mexican restaurants we patronize today: Azteca, La Fuente, La Hacienda, Las Margaritas, Mayas, Mazatlan, Tapatios, Taqueria Guaymas, and Torero's to name just a few.
Renton's Sister City relationship with Nishiwaki began in 1969 when a Sister City alliance with Nishiwaki, Japan, was forged by the Renton Lions Club with support of other civic organizations to promote mutual understanding and good will between the United States and Japan. In an effort to enhance a Sister City relationship with Nishiwaki, Japan, the Renton City Council in 1994 passed a resolution establishing an official City of Renton Nishiwaki Sister City Committee. The Washington - Hyogo, Japan Sister State association strengthens the relationship between Renton and Nishiwaki.
The Sister City relationship pairs two cities with strikingly similar characteristics: Nishiwaki, Japan, is located in a valley between two hills with a river running through the center of town in Hyogo, Japan. The climates are very similar. Both cities are industrial based. Each has three high schools. Nishiwaki is located near the city of Kobe, which is one of Seattle's sister cities. West of the city of Nishiwaki lies Kent's sister city, and west of there lies Auburn's sister city. At the time of the selection of Nishiwaki as a Sister City, its population was about 40,000, which was comparable to the population of the area being served by Renton.