Mayor Feldmann to lead Frankfurt delegation to Philadelphia later this year
Philadelphia, July 16, 2015 — Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann signed an agreement establishing a Sister City relationship between Philadelphia and Frankfurt am Main, Germany today. The ceremony took place before a packed Imperial Hall in Frankfurt’s City Hall, The Romer, with an audience of around 200 people including political, civic and business leaders from the city. Mayor Feldmann announced that he will bring a delegation from Frankfurt to Philadelphia in October 2015 for a reciprocal signing ceremony and to connect business, cultural and educational leaders.
“Frankfurt and Philadelphia have common histories as the birthplaces of democracy in our respective countries, and we share many economic and cultural characteristics that endure to this day,” said Mayor Nutter. “Today’s ceremony is just the beginning of a great partnership and I am very thankful to Mayor Feldmann and the City of Frankfurt for their generous and warm welcome.”
The ceremony featured a musical performance of songs composed specifically for the occasion, including one piece named the ‘Philadelphia Boogie’. Mayor Feldmann hosted the ceremony, including a speech from Consul General Kevin Milas, in the historic Romer in the heart of Frankfurt.
“We have been looking for a close connection to the United States for some time and it is fair to say that in Philadelphia we have found the perfect match,” said Mayor Feldmann. “We are so excited to have so many good friends in Philadelphia.”
The Sister City agreement, Philadelphi’’s first new agreement since 1992, has been in development for more than a year. Mayor Feldmann visited Philadelphia in July 2014 where he met with Mayor Nutter and Deputy Mayor Alan Greenberger to discuss the possibility of a partnership.
The similarities and connections between Philadelphia and Frankfurt are numerous: they are the birthplaces of freedom for their respective countries, Philadelphia as the drafting site of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and Frankfurt as home of the Paulskirche, the first freely-elected German Parliament; their economies thrive on creative industries, life sciences, bio tech, information technology and professional services; they are home to world-renowned cultural institutions like the Frankfurt Opera and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Also, Frankfurt is the German headquarters for Philadelphia law firms Morgan Lewis; Dechert; and Reed Smith. Philadelphia boasts strong German influences through historic neighborhoods like Germantown and the great Philadelphia company Dietz and Watson, founded by Gottlieb Dietz in 1939.
Mayor Nutter arrived in Frankfurt on Wednesday morning where he was greeted by staff from the Frankfurt Mayor’s Office. He was given a tour of major economic development projects in Frankfurt before heading to a dinner of business leaders hosted by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. At the ‘Frankfurt meets Philadelphia’ dinner, Mayor Nutter gave a presentation about the connections between the two cities and made the case for investment and expansion in Philadelphia.
Following today’s ceremony and reception, Mayor Nutter visited Gymnasium Riedberg, a bilingual school in Frankfurt eager to establish an educational exchange with a school in Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter watched a musical performance by the students before touring the school to learn about their computer science and international projects before participating in a Q&A with the students.
This evening Mayor Nutter will address the Frankfurt Parliament before a dinner with Mayor Feldmann and Consul General Milas. He departs for Tel Aviv, the second leg of his trip, tomorrow morning.