|At a meeting with the American Chamber of Commerce, McCall (l) and Jackson (r)|
The following declaration was made while in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana:
The City of Cleveland, Ohio and the City of Ljubljana, Slovenia confirm their desire to strengthen cooperation in the spirit of the Protocol of Intent signed by the Mayors of the two cities on July 25th, 1975 and endeavor to deepen international friendship and mutual understanding between the two cities through economic, educational and cultural exchanges that lead to greater Global economic opportunities, educational and professional exchanges and tourism in both cities. The City of Cleveland has the largest Slovenia population in the U.S and this is the first delegation to include a sitting Mayor traveling to Ljubljana.
The purpose of this Trade Mission is to encourage and promote existing exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between Cleveland and Ljubljana so that both cities can thrive to benefit a wider range of citizens in both cities, while expanding business relations between the two cities and our respective nations through the exchange of people, ideas, professionals, youth, while promoting international good will and understanding. This mission will allow both Cleveland and Ljubljana to foster and encourage charitable, scientific, trade, commerce, literacy and educational activities and identify themes common to both cities that will generate new initiatives to further and nurture the increasingly powerful financial, social and cultural relationships between our cities.
Among the members of the Delegation were several persons involved with Cleveland Special Events Corporation, the host organization of Gay Games IX. Among these are Mayor Jackson and his Chief of Government Affairs Valarie McCall, David Gilbert of Positively Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Sharon Gronowski of Positively Cleveland, and Councilman Joe Cimperman who said:
“My mother immigrated to Cleveland from Slovenia. My father was a hundred per cent Slovenian American. They were welcomed and loved among a thriving, tight knit community of other Slovenians who settled in Cleveland and took advantage of the city’s industrial might, world-class cultural institutions and diverse ethnic communities. The pride of Slovenia is alive and well in Cleveland today.”