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Pittsburgh, PA and Presov, Sk join Sister-City Relationship

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  • BobHORGOS@aol.com
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/pittsburgh/s_81372.html Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Monday, July 15, 2002 Pittsburgh to welcome Slovakian steel
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 15, 2002
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      http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/pittsburgh/s_81372.html

      Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
      Monday, July 15, 2002
      Pittsburgh to welcome Slovakian steel city to the family
      By Carolyn Taschner, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
      Monday, July 15, 2002

      Pittsburgh's multicultural family will grow to 14 when the city of Presov in
      the Slovak Republic becomes its latest sister city.

      Mayor Tom Murphy will make the sisterhood official Tuesday in a ceremony with
      Presov Mayor Juraj Kopcak and Pittsburgh City Council President Gene
      Ricciardi in council chambers, Downtown.

      Located in Eastern Slovakia, Presov is the third largest city in the
      republic, with a population near 100,000. Presov also is a steel city, just
      20 miles north of the city of Kocise where U.S. Steel has a plant.

      The Slovakian delegation, including its mayor, two council members and a
      translator, arrived Sunday and will stay through next weekend, to tour and
      meet with officials and business leaders. They will spend Thursday afternoon
      at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin for the park's Slovak Day .

      Joseph and Albina Senko of the Western Pennsylvania Slovak Cultural
      Association have sought the Presov relationship since 1995. Reaching out for
      his heritage, Eric Ondos, chief of staff for city Councilman James Motznik,
      joined the effort and traveled to the Slovak Republic in November 2001 to
      tour the city and meet the mayor.

      Ondos said Presov is "a few years behind" Pittsburgh and Slovakian officials
      are interested in learning from local development of brownfields and projects
      like The Waterfront shopping and dining complex, and collaboration with the
      University of Pittsburgh.

      Many relationships are born like the Presov relationship — an individual or
      group has an international tie wants to make a connection with Pittsburgh,
      said Linda Campbell, manager of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's
      international division and Vice President of the Greater Pittsburgh Sister
      Cities Association.

      According to Sister Cities International, 690 U.S. cities are involved in
      relationships with 1,455 cities in 120 countries since 1956, when President
      Dwight Eisenhower initiated the program.

      Campbell said Pittsburgh has an active relationship with only about half of
      the cities. She said most good relationships start out as cultural endeavors
      and develop.

      "Before any investment occurs, you have to establish a level of trust,"
      Campbell said. "Once that is accomplished, more and more investment will
      occur."

      Committees plan sister events and Campbell involves city officials and
      business leaders and finds sponsors to fund events. She said a dragon boat
      race scheduled for Sept. 21 on the Allegheny River to celebrate the 20th
      anniversary of the city's partnership with Wuhun, China, is one example of a
      sister activity to spread diversity in the city.

      "Pittsburgh is very diverse city but a lot of us don't know how diverse it
      is," Campbell said. "Everybody is set into their own neighborhoods. They are
      not really aware of the full picture. We want to bring those cultures to the
      center."

      Presov joins Pittsburgh's 13 other sister cities: Sofia, Bulgaria; Ostrava,
      Czech Republic; Wuhan, China; Zagreb, Croatia; Matanzas, Cuba; Sheffield,
      England; Saarbrucken, Germany; Saitama City, Japan; Skopje, Macedonia; San
      Isidro, Nicaragua; Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay; Bilbao, Spain; and Donetsk,
      Ukraine.
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