Dane County Board of Supervisors approves sistering relationship

Dear friends in Dane County and beyond,

On Thursday, June 5, at around 10 pm, after some debate, the Dane County Board of Supervisors adopted the following resolution, establishing the official relation of Dane County with the Municipality of Andres Eloy Blanco in the State of Lara in Venezuela. Many thanks to all of you who have supported and advised the process so far.

The exciting work begins now, it is the hope of the organizing committee to have a delegation to visit Andres Eloy Blanco within the next year. Much will need to happen in the meantime to build a more formal organization and explore the possibilities that are now open to our communities. We will keep you posted of upcoming meetings and events to further this effort.


DASA, the Dane-Andres Eloy Blanco Sistering Alliance

RES. 247 , 07-08

In October 2007 Venezuela’s Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez visited Dane County. In his visit he met with Dane County Supervisors and extended an invitation from Venezuela for the creation of a sister county relationship.

Currently, Dane County has other established sister-county relationships including with Apartado, Colombia and Kassel, Germany. These relationships have helped to foster trade, enhance global understanding, and have encouraged communication, friendship, and goodwill between these communities.

Community organizations in Dane County and agricultural cooperatives and elected officials at the Andres Eloy Blanco municipality, commonly known by its capital Sanare, have indicated strong interest in developing such a relationship. Dane County has many cultural, environmental, and agricultural points in common with the Andres Eloy Blanco municipality:

· The Andres Eloy Blanco municipality is known as the birthplace of the agricultural cooperative movement of Venezuela, and has helped establish cooperatives as a viable form of business organization in the agricultural, manufacturing, and service sectors. Dane County is a thriving hub of cooperative development in the US featuring one of the largest concentration of worker co-ops, housing co-ops, agricultural co-ops, and consumer co-ops in the nation.

· The Andres Eloy Blanco municipality features many different landforms and micro-climates as well as an amazing national park in the Andes. The people there are very aware of the importance of their ecology and are leaders in the green movement of Venezuela. Dane County citizens and government share this concern and are leaders in the state in environmental issues.

· Its capital Sanare, is a thriving city full of healthy commerce and is surrounded by an important agricultural base in its coffee production. Dane County also features a good-sized metropolitan area with a distinct agricultural back-bone.

Officials at the Andres Eloy Blanco municipality have stated their strong interest in developing a closer relationship with Dane County. Dane County, with its strong record on environmental protection and agricultural productivity, could engage in an exchange of ideas and tools in this regard with the Andres Eloy Blanco municipality. Other US cities and counties that have developed similar relationships with areas in Venezuela have benefited greatly from them.

This relation is intended exclusively as a people-to-people and county-to-county relationship

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dane County Board authorizes an official sister-county partnership between Dane County and the Andres Eloy Blanco municipality, in the state of Lara, Venezuela and that the Dane County Executive is hereby authorized and directed to sign the appropriate formal agreement creating the partnership.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Executive and the County Board Chair shall jointly appoint a member to serve on a community based committee to advise the Sister County partnership.