17 September 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Mr Edwin Lee, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco will lead a delegation of over 80 from the Golden Gate City to Cork. The delegation represents a wide cross section from the business, political, education, government and art and culture sectors. San Francisco is a sister city of Cork with the relationship between both cities having been established in 1984.
Last September, Mayor Lee accepted an invitation to attend the 3rd UNESCO Learning Cities Conference which is being held in City Hall, Cork September 18- 20. Mayor Lee will address over 600 national and international delegates who will share experiences and explore how Learning Cities can foster sustainable development for all our cities.
This delegation, the largest of any to date to Cork, will further foster the strong links between San Francisco and Cork. In particular, two areas for future further collaboration have been identified- education and food. On Sunday afternoon, the formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the fields of education and lifelong learning will take place at City Hall. On Wednesday morning, another MOU, or agreement, will be signed in the English Market between The English Market and The Ferry Plaza, San Francisco.
The MOU’s will put on a formal footing both cities commitment to strengthening relations and enhancing cooperation in the areas of lifelong learning and the artisan food communities.
The delegation has a very busy itinerary while in Cork. This itinerary includes among many a visit to Pairc Ui Chaoimh, meetings and events with Cork City Council, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, Cork Chamber, UCC, Port of Cork, An Garda Siochána and various arts bodies in the city. Various site visits and walking tours will also take place including visits to Apple, Johnson Controls and Voxpro, a Cork company with a base in San Francisco. This will provide both cities with the opportunity to discuss best practise in a wide variety of fields.
Speaking in advance of the visit, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “I am honoured and looking forward to welcoming such a large group from San Francisco during my term of office. I know that this visit and the extensive itinerary that has been put together can only strengthen the bonds that already exist between our two cities, and I look forward to playing my part in this”.
Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty said: “It is testament to the great ties between Cork and San Francisco that such a large delegation led by Mayor Lee is visiting our city. It is an opportunity to showcase all that Cork city has to offer. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the organisation of the visit and putting together such a vast and varied programme for the five days”