San Jose to San Jose Committee's History with Pacific Neighbors

History of the Pacific Neighbors Sister City Program

Okayama, Japan (1957); San Jose, Costa Rica (1961); Veracruz, Mexico (1975); Tainan, Taiwan (1977); Pune, India (1992); and Ekaterinburg, Russia (1992).

Sister city, county and state affiliations between the United States and other nations began after World War II, and developed into a national initiative when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the people-to-people program at a White House conference in 1956.

President Eisenhower's intention was to involve individuals and organized groups at all levels of society in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through sister city, county and state affiliations, would lessen the chance of future world conflicts.

Pacific Neighbors Inc. was a member of Sister Cities International by virtue of the City’s affiliation. Sister Cities International links municipalities from the United States with cities from other countries through Sister City agreements signed by the respective Mayor of each city, and ratified by each City Council. To be official, a Sister City relationship must have the endorsement of local authorities, and the support of community volunteers.

It is the nature of government and its employees that they loose their jobs through term limits, budget cuts, re-organizations and retirement. Pacific Neighbors Inc. was the original San Jose volunteer organization and historically kept the Sister Cities Program alive in San Jose through its volunteer’s dedication to making peace on earth a reality.

Pacific Neighbors Inc.'s Board of Directors met monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 PM, usually at City Hall. Guests were welcome and the City Committees took turns furnishing dinners typical of our Sister Cities. There were exceptions to our 3rd Monday meetings which occurred during visits to or from a Sister City or a multi-cultural event we are hosting such as FESTIV'ALL which usually took place in October.

Three of San Jose's Sister Cities members served on the Board of Directors of Sister Cities International's Northern California Chapter. There are 68 Northern California Cities with Sister City relationships. Due to the large number of Cities in California with Sister Cities Relationships and the shear size of California, the Sister Cities California Chapter has divided into a Norcal and Socal Board to make the logistics easier for our Board members. Each Board meets quarterly at a hosting City and Board members are welcome at each others meetings.