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About the Program

The City of Tacoma has eleven Sister Cities, all of which are either port cities or have other aspects similar or complementary to Tacoma’s economic character. Tacoma’s sister city activities are as diverse as its membership. Some examples of activities include Children Peace Festival, Baseball Exchanges, Performing Arts Festivals, Arts Exchanges and the International Film and Food Festival.

The first Sister City Program, Sister Cities International, was created in 1956 at the request of President Eisenhower, giving national focus to affiliations between cities in the United States and in other countries. The goal of the program is to promote deeper cultural understanding, international visitation and hospitality that leads to long lasting relationships. More recently, Sister City links have become an increasingly important conduit for economic development.


The mission of the Tacoma Sister Cities program is to promote cultural and political diversity. Sister Cities exchanges encourage exchange between business, governments, health, arts, cultural and educational groups and organizations.


  • Support international trade and economic partnerships between Tacoma and our Sister Cities.
  • Promote international tourism
  • Support increased understanding of international health and education issues
  • Support artistic and cultural exchanges and partnerships

Sister Cities Selection Criteria

  1. Tacoma Sister Cities should be a port city or have other major economic aspects that are complimentary or similar to the economic character of Tacoma.
  2. Tacoma Sister Cities should share mutual goals leading to the betterment of cultural, educational, social, and health environments for citizens.
  3. Tacoma Sister Cities governments should share open dialogs leading to increased international understanding.
  4. Sister Cities agreements shall be consistent with Sister Cities International Affiliations Policy and Procedures.
    • Establish a Sister City relationship with one (1) city per country
  5. A Sister City will be adopted by resolution of the City Council.

Sister Cities Committees and Council

  1. Sister City Committee members are appointed by the individual Sister City Committees.
  2. There will be a Sister City Council consisting of members of each Sister City committee. Sister City committees chairs and one representative shall be appointed to the Sister City Council by each committee. Officers of the Sister City Council shall be elected by the members of the Council.
  3. There shall be a renewable contractual agreement between the City of Tacoma and the Sister City Council and the individual Sister City Committees clarifying the roles and responsibilities of all parties and allowing for intergovernmental partnerships.
  4. The Sister City Council shall be:
    • The Sister City Council shall be a not for profit 501(c) (3) organization with bylaws filed in the Washington Secretary of State’s office
    • To support the activities of all Tacoma Sister City Committees
    • To raise the cultural awareness and collective consciousness throughout Tacoma of our diverse Sister Cities
    • To raise funds to support the efforts of all Tacoma Sister Cities
    • To seek and secure gifts representative of Tacoma for Sister City delegations
    • To be responsive to be responsive through volunteer efforts to the needs of Sister City activities.
  5. The Sister City Committees shall be:
    • A not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization with bylaws filed in the Washington Secretary of State’s office
    • To develop exchange, program, and/or activities between an individual Sister City and Tacoma
    • To serve as hosts and international guides to Sister City delegations
    • To organize accommodations and/or home-stays for international delegations
    • To provide financial assistance to support Sister City exchanges

Sister City Committee Chairs

Please visit the Resource Library for helpful downloadable documents, and the Related Sites page for more online information.