LETTER FROM BERTRAND DELANOË, MAYOR OF PARIS
Letter from Mr. Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of the City of Paris, read at the Spring Cocktail of the Consul General, celebrating the friendship of France and Chicago on May 11, 2009 :
Chicago and Paris have maintained for many years a close and congenial relationship, founded on confidence, respect, and a common understanding of the world.
I regret that I am unable to be present with you today to celebrate our friendship with Chicago, home of President Barack Obama and the birth place of his exceptional destiny. My deputy and friend Pierre SCHAPIRA, responsible for International relations, European and Francophone affairs has recently come to your city from April 26th to the 28th on the occasion of the Chicago Global Cities Forum. He has reminded me how much your city has developed and embellished over the past few years. To put it simply, the ties between Paris and Chicago go beyond the symbol, they embody a complicity between two cities that cherish freedom.
In September 2007, I had the pleasure and honor of welcoming Mayor Richard Daley to Paris. During his visit we signed a new cooperation memorandum, concerning very practical issues, such as economic exchanges, the environment, and culture. With this regard, our respective administrations regularly exchange best practices. In this framework, we have the pleasure to welcome to the city hall of Paris Mr. LAGOD, an executive from the Environment Department of the City of Chicago. During his two-year stay, common projects regarding garden planning will be developed. Similarly, we have initiated a youth training project in partnership with the program “After School Matters” directed by Mrs DALEY. This project is conducted by Mrs Sakina M’SA, a renowned Parisian Haute Couture designer, who won the 2008 Grand Prize for Creativity from the City of Paris. We hope to develop in the coming months other exchanges, especially in the social domain. I am personally pleased with the quality of our relation and the unfailing friendship that links our two cities and their people.
It is in this spirit that, on behalf of the Parisian people, and myself, I would like to offer you our friendliest wishes. I salute in particular the key actors of the exchanges between Paris and Chicago, my friend Richard DALEY, his wife Maggie, and all of his team. But also Mrs Renée JOHNSON, Mr. Brett AUGUST who make the Paris-Chicago Sister Committee live thanks to their talent and enthusiasm, and to everyone who contributes to reinforcing our ties. I would finally like to pay tribute to Mr. DE BOISSIERE, Consul General of France in Chicago, for taking the initiative to gather you today in celebration of the French-American friendship.
It is for me an opportunity to repeat, once again, my appreciation and my admiration for American democracy, and for this city, so beautiful, so generous, and so dynamic.