Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Oleksandr Popov of Kyiv, Ukraine today to sign a reaffirmation of the 1991 Chicago-Kyiv Sister Cities Agreement. With this partnership, the Mayor will continue to promote the City of Chicago as an economic partner and tourist destination to Ukrainian business and government leaders.
“I welcome Oleksandr Popov to Chicago and am proud to renew our commitment as Sister Cities, allowing for further collaboration, economic growth and cultural partnership,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago’s history as a city of immigrants has been made richer by the Ukrainian people, who have played a defining role in the economic, social and cultural fabric of Chicago.”
In addition to signing the Sister Cities Agreement with Mayor Emanuel, Mr. Popov met with World Business Chicago president Rita Athas, toured the tech-hub 1871 in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, and took part in a street naming ceremony with Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th) in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood.
"What makes Chicago unique is our celebration of the diverse peoples and cultures that make our city every immigrant's home away from home. The Ukrainian people have called Chicago, and the 26th Ward, home since 1890 and have proudly joined us as a ‘Sister City’ since 1991,” said Alderman Maldonado. “Today we commemorate our historic alliance for future generations of Ukrainians by designating Chicago Avenue and Oakley Boulevard ‘Honorary Kyiv-Chicago Sister Cities Way’ and look forward to promoting mutual economic and business development for the progressive growth of both of our great cities."
The Chicago area is home to nearly 40,000 Chicagoans of Ukrainian heritage. The Ukrainian Village neighborhood, has been the central hub of Ukrainian cultural life since the start of the 20th century, and continues to be the home of three major Ukrainian churches, the Ukrainian National Museum, a Ukrainian Cultural Center, and many Ukrainian restaurants, stores and businesses.
"I am incredibly honored to welcome Oleksandr Popov of the great city of Kyiv to the 1st Ward. Chicago's Ukrainian community is a perfect example of the diversity and passion which makes our nation and our city so great,” said Alderman Joe Moreno of the 1st Ward.
Mayor Emanuel is committed to fostering Chicago’s international and Sister City relationships, over the past three months he has met with the mayors, city officials and delegations from the Sister Cities of Toronto, Canada, Warsaw, Poland, Gothenburg, Sweden, Galway, Ireland, Belgrade, Serbia and Vilnius, Lithuania.
Photo Caption: Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Head of Kyiv City State Administration Oleksandr Popov of Ukraine Meet to Discuss Their Growing Relationship as Sister Cities.
Photo Credit: Brooke Collins // City of Chicago