Mayors to sign nation’s first Sibling Cities Agreement at kickoff on Tuesday

PALO ALTO, CA., and BLOOMINGTON IN – Sibling Cities USA and the cities of Palo Alto, California and Bloomington, Indiana are hosting a virtual kickoff for the first-ever Sibling Cities relationship on Tuesday, February 15 at 12 p.m. EST. The public is invited to register and attend this free Zoom event or view the live stream on Facebook ( or YouTube ( 

Register online for the February 15 event at 

The Kickoff will feature a fireside chat with Cornell William Brooks, former President of the NAACP and professor at Harvard University, who serves on Sibling Cities USA’s Advisory Board; and remarks from Tara VanDerveer, Indiana University alumna and Head Coach of the defending National Champion Stanford Women’s Basketball Team. Government leaders from both cities and Vicki Veenker, founder of Sibling Cities USA, will comment on prospects for this new initiative. Trivia updates from the City Coordinators and surprise introductions will round out the festivities.

In November 2021, then Palo Alto Mayor Tom DuBois and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton announced proposed resolutions for the two cities to become the pilot Sibling Cities USA pair, which their respective City Councils passed. At the Kickoff, Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt, Hamilton, and DuBois will execute the resulting Sibling Cities agreement. Sibling Cities USA (SCUSA) is a non-profit organization that builds relationships between US Cities to bridge regional divides and promote unity in America. SCUSA is planning for additional city pairs in the near future. 

Mayor Pat Burt

Mayor Pat Burt said, “We hope that this partnership will be a model for building relationships among cities and their residents from different regions of the country. We look forward to collaborating, learning from and understanding each other, and to investing in our commitment to the role of cities in strengthening the ideal of American democracy.”  

Mayor John Hamilton

“I believe this new relationship can significantly benefit the residents of our respective communities for years to come, with mutual learning and collaborations,” said Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington. “We can imagine a focus on priorities such as community engagement, sustainability, and economic and business opportunities.  Connecting together as communities are more important than ever, as we recover from the pandemic and address big challenges ahead.”   

For information about the City of Palo Alto, visit

For information about the City of Bloomington, visit

For information about Sibling Cities USA, visit