Sister City Relationships

Mission: Promote peace through mutual respect, understanding & cooperation - one individual. one community at a time.

Sister Cities International traces its roots to 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed a people-to-people citizen diplomacy initiative.  Sister Cities International is a nonprofit, citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities to increase global cooperation at the local level while promoting sustainable development, youth involvement, cultural understanding, and humanitarian assistance.  The Sister Cities International network represents more than 2,500 communities in 137 countries around the world.

The City of Dubuque has three established Sister City relationships. During the 1980’s, the City of Dubuque established relationships with Handan, China, and Pyatigorsk, Russia.  In the 1990's, Austrian author Meinrad Pichler traveled to Dubuque to research the history that the city of Dornbirn, Austria and Dubuque, Iowa share. Dubuque was one of the most common destinations for the immigrants coming from Dornbirn during the 19th century, including several prominent early Dubuque families. In 2012 the City of Dornbirn was added as a Sister City Relationship with Dubuque.  

Initially, a group of citizens formed a Sister City Committee that built upon partnerships with contacts both in Handan and Pyatigorsk. These partnerships led to the formation of official relationships and a delegation visit to Handan.
On November 1, 2010, the City Council officially formed the Sister City Relationships Advisory Commission by Ordinance No. 59-10 to include ten (10) at-large residents of the City and two (2) members of the City Council. On January 11, 2011, Ordinance No.1-11 was adopted which increased the membership to thirteen (13) at-large residents of the City and two (2) members of the City Council.

Dornbirn, Austria
Pyatigorsk, Russia
Handan, China

Click here to learn more about the Sister City Relationships Advisory Commission.