San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Zurich Mayor Corine Mauch celebrated their 10-year sister city relationship at a ceremony reestablishing a commitment to economic and cultural investments this morning.
Both mayors signed a memorandum of understanding, which included commitments in innovation to areas including technology, sustainability and the arts.
Mauch, who was born in Iowa City, Iowa, is visiting the country for the first time in more than 40 years, Lee said. She was elected mayor of Zurich in 2009.
The relationship was established in 2003 with then-Mayor Willie Brown and then-Mayor of Zurich Elmar Ledergerber. Zurich is one of 18 cities that have established a relationship with San Francisco.
Mauch highlighted multiple similarities between the sister cities, such as diverse languages, beneficial location and cold weather.
Mauch said she hopes the relationship will also “establish a network for civic exchange for startups” and “continue an exchange of information on sustainable city developments.”
Lee said the agreement also included commitments to biotechnology, life sciences and educational exchanges.
The agreement also seeks to maintain the artist-in-residence exchange program.
Mauch also acknowledged the construction of Levi’s Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara while she is hoping to build a new soccer stadium in Zurich.
Lee encouraged Mauch to visit the San Francisco Jazz Center, which opened earlier this year, and LED light sculpture “The Bay Lights” during her visit.
Both mayors presented one another with chocolates from their respective cities. Lee also gave Mauch a bracelet pedometer while Mauch gave Lee a blue and white bag made of recycled materials from Swiss company Freitag.
In celebration of the sister city relationship’s 10-year anniversary, the San Francisco Arts Commission will open an exhibit titled “TWISTED SISTERS: Reimagining Urban Portraiture,” that will be on display later this month at City Hall.
San Francisco fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and Mark Chandler, director of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce, were among the attendees at today’s ceremony.
Jamey Padojino, Bay City News