About Long Beach Sister Cities
Sister Cities of Long Beach, Inc. (SCLB) promotes and develops effective and mutually beneficial cooperation between the citizens of Long Beach and those cities of other nations through its affiliation with Sister Cities International. SCLB promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time with other port cities of the world. SCLB exchanges people, ideas and information relating to issues of interest that may include economic, social, cultural, educational, municipal, environmental, professional, technical, and youth concerns.
Long Beach first became involved in the Sister City International (SCI) Program in 1963, when, the city of Long Beach and the city of Yokkaichi, Japan established a partnership with the signing of affiliation documents making the two communities sister cities. This relationship celebrated its 41st anniversary in 2004, making it the oldest sister city committee in the city of Long Beach. Yokkaichi has maintained an active role in continuing to strengthen relations between the city of Long Beach and the city of Yokkaichi, with regular programs, trade missions and educational programs. Our initial sister city program with Yokkaichi, with its successes, opened the gates to other cites to become sister cities with Long Beach. In fact, later that same year another city requested sister city status, and the city of Valparaiso, Chile became our second sister city committee.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, Long Beach continued to build relationships around the globe adding Pohang, Korea and Qingdao, China. In 1989, Sochi, Russia, Meru, Kenya in 1991, followed by Bacolod, Philippines, and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1994, bringing the total number of cities affiliated with the Long Beach Sister City Program to nine. Because of previous rules governed by SCI that allow for a city to only have one sister city per country, Sister Cities of Long Beach, Inc. established a new type of relationship called a Friendship City. The first to form under the Friendship City Program was Guadalajara, Mexico and in the year 2001 a Guadalajara Friendship City was established. In 2015 Rosarito Beach, Mexico was approved, and in 2016 we welcomed Venice, Italy as a Friendship City.
As the years passed, several of the original sister cities entered into an inactive status because of changes in relationships and committees that had moved on to other projects. At the direction of the Long Beach City Council in 1996, a resolution was passed to form an umbrella organization, naming it Sister Cities of Long Beach, Inc. This organization became the parent to all Long Beach Sister Cities, bringing them together to focus on the international communities they served.
In the ensuing years, Sister Cities of Long Beach, Inc. established additional sister city committees: Manta, Ecuador; Izmir, Turkey; and Mombasa, Kenya. The past few years have seen Bacolod and Izmir become inactive.
Today, Long Beach enjoys five active Sister Cities relationships–Yokkaichi, Japan; Qingdao,China; Sochi, Russia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Mombasa, Kenya.. They host several international delegations per year and sponsor special cultural events throughout the year that help bring together the entire Long Beach international community.