Sister City Commission

ESCC WHITE compMission: It is the mission of the Edmonds Sister City Commission to promote international communication and understanding through exchanges of people, ideas, and culture.

Edmonds and the city of Hekinan, Japan established a relationship on April 5, 1988. The two cities celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2018.

Hekinan is located in Aichi Prefecture about 40 kilometers from Nagoya. It was incorporated in 1948 from four villages. There are about 70,000 residents, and it hosts an active harbor and several substantial manufacturing plants. Toyota is the largest employer in the region and maintains a transmission assembly plant. Hekinan has stressed the importance of its civic and cultural assets, which include a cultural hall, a large regional hospital, botanical gardens, performance hall, and parks. The new Chubu Centrair International Airport, only 15 minutes away from Hekinan, opened in 2005 to make the city more accessible to visitors.

tsurumai-park-cherry-blossom-festival-8-hekinan compThe Edmonds Sister City Commission was created by City ordinance in 1988 and reports to the Mayor of Edmonds. The Mayor appoints members to the Commission, subject to City Council confirmation. The 12 non-paid Commissioners serve three-year terms with no term limits. Commissioners need not be residents of Edmonds.

Goals: Foster exchanges that reflect our intercultural focus between business, education and nonprofit organizations in the local area.

--Participate in local events in the community.
--Provide the citizens of Edmonds with opportunities to learn about our 
  experiences with our sister cities.
--Provide the citizens of Edmonds education and awareness on the culture of 
  our sister cities.

Foster a relationship between officials and staff of the sister cities. This includes but is not limited to: Mayor, Parks, Public Works, Community Development, Fire, and Police.

Foster relationships with other local cities that have sister city programs to exchange ideas and expand communications with other sister cities.

Sister City Sponsors


Donate to the Sister City Commission

The Edmonds Sister City Commission funds a portion of its cultural, education, and civic events through the generous donations of community members. Please consider helping us ensure the continued success of our Sister City relationships by donating below. Even the smallest contributions have a significant impact!  Thanks!

Donations to the Edmonds Sister City Commission can be tax-deductible. The Commission works to expend contributions for public purposes. Please refer to IRS Publication 526 for additional information and speak with your accountant.


Sister City Contact

Meeting Schedule
The Commission meets the fourth Monday of every month (NO MEETING IN DECEMBER) at 6 pm at the Frances Anderson Center, Room 123, 700 Main Street, Edmonds. Meetings subject to change. Due to COVID-19, meetings are currently being held via zoom:
Webinar ID: 974 1144 9400
Passcode: 449274
Or Telephone: Dial US: +1 253 215 8782 or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free)

Commission Members
Rae Podrebarac ~ Position #1
Katy Renz ~ Position #2
Greg Lange (Co-Chair) ~ Position #3
Gillian lim ~ Position #5
Laura Braithwaite Otto (Sec.) ~ Position #6
Iyoko Okano ~ Position #7
Michele Fellows (Co-Chair) ~ Position #8
Karyn Heinekin ~ Position #10
Gabe Longoria ~ Position #11

City Staff
Carolyn LaFave, Exec. Asst. to the Mayor

Sister City Commission

Current Openings


Office of the Mayor
425.771.0247 (phone)

425.771.0252 (fax)

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