This letter is in response to the comments raised by Ms. Sherryl Kenney regarding “Lynnwood officials host virtual ceremony celebrating new Friendship City with Chilpancingo, Mexico” article published on Sept. 22, 2020.
Mayor Smith’s statement, “…hopes to create an open exchange of information, economics, arts, ‘tourism’ and more….”, was intended to give examples of the types of programs and activities, including people to people tourism , that can be implemented to build and/or strengthen the City of Lynnwood’s relation with sister and/or friendship cities in foreign countries. which have ancestry residents living in Lynnwood.
In order for a city in a foreign country to have a sister city relationship with the City of Lynnwood, it must be approved by the City Council; and a Friendship City relationship must be approved the Mayor. In addition, the Sister and/or Friendship City relationship must be approved by an equivalent government in the applicable foreign country.
Lynnwood is a very diverse city with residents from many different countries, ethnicities, color, and races. We live, play, work, and are govern by the City’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy and philosophy that “All is Welcome”. This policy is partly executed, through city’s government operations and through local Lynnwood community groups engaging in celebrating, appreciating, respecting, and valuing lifestyles, culture etiquettes, languages, and visual and performing arts that bring our residents together as a inclusive community. As a result of Lynnwood’s residents recognition of the value of diverse residents, this city is much better place to live, work and play.
All private participants in activities and programs implemented by sister cities and/or friendship cities organizations, such as educational exchanges, economics, visual and performing arts, ‘tourism’ and people to people visits, are paid with private funds contributed by members of local organizations not taxes. These funds are normally contributed through the Lynnwood Sister Cities Association, a non-profit organization, that underwrites expenses for most activities for making Lynnwood a “Welcoming City”.
Wally Webster II, Board Member
Lynnwood Sister Cities Association