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Independent Voice

Senate Approves Senator Dodd’s Ukraine Sister-State Measure

Jan 31, 2024 11:44AM ● By Office of Senator Bill Dodd News Release

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The California Senate has approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would extend an invitation to the people of Lviv, Ukraine to enter a sister-state relationship with California.

“California has one of the largest Ukrainian communities in the United States, so it makes sense that we forge an official bond with the Lviv region,” Sen. Dodd said. “We share many mutual values, aspirations and interests including economic cooperation, academic research, cultural exploration and technological innovation. In the face of the brutal war unleashed by Russia, it is especially important to foster this sister-state relationship to promote prosperity, understanding and goodwill within the region.”

“In these challenging times for Ukraine, when it continues to be bravely fighting Russian aggression for almost two years, the sister-state relationship with California holds deep significance,” said Dmytro Kushneruk, Ukrainian consul general in San Francisco. “It’s a heartfelt recognition of our shared commitment to freedom, democracy and resilience. This partnership between Lviv and California is more than diplomatic ties; it’s a symbol of hope and solidarity, a testament to the enduring spirit of our people and the unbreakable bonds that unite us.”

Ukrainians began arriving in California in the late 19th century and now make up a population of more than 100,000 -- or one in six Ukrainian immigrants in the United States. The city of Sacramento ranks first in the nation in the share of its population that is from Ukraine.

Lviv is in western Ukraine and is home to various ethnic and religious groups with a rich tradition of education and scholarship, making it an ideal educational exchange partner. It is also a key region for trade and joint initiatives to promote economic and job growth. Since the Russian military offensive, it has received hundreds of thousands of temporarily displaced people from the east of Ukraine, demonstrating an unwavering resilience and strength.

California has made previous ties with Ukraine. It was among the first to recognize 1932-33 Holodomor tragedy which led to the death of millions of Ukrainians at the hands of the Soviets. In 2014, the California Senate approved a resolution of cooperation between the California National Guard and Ukraine. Over the years, this partnership has made humanitarian support a constant aspect of every deployment, including helping with school repairs in the Lviv region.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 96 recognizes this close relationship and invites the people of Lviv to join in the sister-state relationship with California. SCR 96 was approved by the Senate on a 37-0 vote and heads to the Assembly for further consideration.


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