Deeper international ties
Virginia is a thriving part of the global community. The commonwealth has active engagements around the world that celebrate culture, share ideas on solving global challenges, create life-changing opportunities for our youths and generate thousands of jobs.
Richmond-area businesses and nonprofits are generously providing aid to Ukraine and other countries around the world. Students from area high schools and universities participate in foreign exchange programs, providing opportunities to develop an appreciation for social, economic and cultural contributions from international communities.
Let’s not forget that Virginia companies export billions of dollars in manufactured goods, supporting thousands of jobs. The commonwealth also is home to hundreds of international nonprofit organizations that share our values and promote our interests abroad.
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A recent report (“Broadening Diplomatic Engagement Across the U.S.”) from the Washington-based Truman Center for National Policy advocated for the City and State Diplomacy Act. This legislation would establish an office within the State Department to coordinate federal support for engagement between U.S. state and municipal governments, and allied government actors from around the globe.
In the United States, there are only a handful of states and cities with staff members dedicated to international affairs. Unfortunately, Virginia isn’t one of them.
We need a dedicated group of professionals in and around Richmond to advocate for local businesses and nonprofits to expand cultural exchanges. This would lead to business development opportunities, more jobs and a more diversified economy.
Reach out to your local members of Congress and encourage them to pass this legislation. By expanding international ties in Richmond and its surrounding localities, the commonwealth can help build a more just and prosperous world.