Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog


Sister Cities: Sacramento-Bethlehem

A parishioner asked me to join the advisory committee of the Sacramento to Bethlehem Sister Cities Initiative.  I think he asked me because of my interest in cross-cultural experiences and international pilgrimages (I visited Unitarian ethnic Khasi tribal villages in far NE India as well as 400-year-old Unitarian sister churches in Erdhely (a Hungarian-speaking Romanian-owned province, known as Transylvania to non-Hungarians).

Visits and cultural exchanges (as noted on their new web site) between Sac and Beth have been taking place for a few years–the Bethlehem mayor has been here at least twice, and his son and grandkids live here.  The only other mayor’s son I knew was in junior high school with me.  When he got in trouble with the law for burglary a number of us had a good burst of Schadenfreude, as kids and Southern Indiana Democrats will do.

Anyway, I do hope to visit Bethlehem–during good weather only–as well as some other Palestinian cities and Israeli cities.  My geographical knowledge is bad, so I need to learn more.  All I know is olive oil, King David and the Babe in the Manger.

Bethlehem’s local government has officially approved the connections but Sacramento’s City Council has yet to vote.

There is  an excellent opinion column in the current week’s issue of Sacramento News & Review, which says that the delay in our city’s official approval is due to political intervention by folks outside of the Sister City community.  Be that as it may, the friendships and exchanges will continue.

Somewhere on this blog is my letter to the city council urging a positive vote.  If you live here, I invite you to contact the Mayor’s office and City Council members with your support.  Check out the HISTORY section on the initiative’s web site to find out the purpose of Sister City relationships if you aren’t sure of where you stand.

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