The Full History - Since 1985

History of the Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association

Compiled by Jeffrey Kinkley (former PSSCA Secretary)

Republished February 2019

It all started with a relationship and mutual exchange.

March 1985

David Wu (Wu Zhenwei吴振伟), an attorney at the firm of Miller Nash who will come to serve as a Portland Planning Commissioner (1986-1989) and later represent Oregon’s First District in the US Congress (1999-2011), born in Taiwan of Suzhou parents who completed their emigration to the US in 1961, introduces the idea of a sister city relationship with Portland to Suzhou authorities in a letter of March 5. Other early leaders in the search for a Chinese sister city are John E. “Bud” Clark, Mayor of Portland (1985-1992); Mike Lindberg, Portland City Commissioner (1979-1996); Patrick LaCrosse, Director of the Portland Development Commission (1981-1994); and Dr. Joseph Ha, a Korean American and Nike consultant for global business (1981-1996; subsequently chair of Lewis and Clark University’s International Affairs program) who also assists Mayor Clark’s successful initiatives to establish sister city relations with South Korea (Ulsan, 1987) and the USSR/Russia (Khabarovsk, November 1988). …

Click Link to History to read the full story.

Rose Bed Dedication and Tree Planting Ceremonies

July 28, 2018 PSSCA Rose Bed Dedication and Tree Planting Ceremonies Celebrations of the 30-year Portland-Suzhou Sister City anniversary began Saturday morning, July 28, 2018, with the dedication of a rose bed in Washington Park.

On behalf of Portland Parks and Recreation, Rachel Burlington, Curator of the International Rose Test Garden welcomed the delegations from Suzhou led by Mr. Gu Jie, Secretary General of Standing Committee of Suzhou Municipal People’s Congress.

The City of Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler, International Relations Director, Chido Dhliwayo and Portland-Suzhou Sister City Association (PSSCA) President, Bob Fraser, addressed the group of delegates, PSSCA Board Directors and Royal Rosarians.

The Mayor and Mr. Gu Jie, together planted and watered a rose bush in the rose bed dedicated to the PSSCA.

The group then reassembled at the Hoyt Arboretum where they were met by Hoyt Curator Martin Nicholson. A scenic walk along the Bristlecone Pine Trail brought them to the area in the Hoyt Chinese Forest where an Osmanthus heterophyllus “Variegatus’ was planted in honor of 30 years of sister city relations between Suzhou and Portland. This tree is a twin of a tree to be planted in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, both propagated from the 100 year old  Osmanthus nicknamed “Old Gui” or old noble one, that resided in the Lan Su courtyard until recently.

The group heard remarks by Martin Nicholson, Elizabeth Edwards, City of Portland Director of the Office of Government Relations, Lynne McIntyre, Immediate Past President of PSSCA, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Mr. Gu Jie. The tree planting at Hoyt was a fitting follow up of the tree planting ceremony that took place in Suzhou during the Mayor’s delegation in April. 

2017 Evening Under The Stars Gala

An evening to be remembered, many years to come, for so many wonderful reasons.


Mayor Ted Wheeler welcomed Suzhou Foreign Affairs Director Xu Huadong to Portland for which PSSCA President Lynne McIntyre and Elizabeth Edwards, Interim Director, Office of Government Relations at City of Portland participated in the gift exchange.

There was the heartfelt speech by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler extolling the friendship and important meaning of the Portland Sister City relationship with Suzhou. That incredible friendship was confirmed when the Mayor bestowed upon PSSCA’s Foreign Affairs Officer, Lu Hehe as an Honorary Citizen of Portland. Known to her friends here in Portland as Dorathy, she was honored for her 13 years of dedicated service to PSSCA. Former Mayor Bud Clark, one of the founding fathers of PSSCA, joined Bonnie Starkey, PSSCA Secretary in the ceremony.

The Mayor congratulated Julie Richman, Principal of the Hope Chinese Charter School for the PSSCA Cultural Leadership Award for the school’s award-winning participation in the Jiangsu Province International Youth Art Competition. Director Zhang Jian accepted the PSSCA Educational Leadership Award on behalf of the Confucius Institute, celebrating their 10th Anniversary at Portland State University. Mr. Lu Chen, Senior Logistics Director, GC for Nike Logistic Center in Suzhou accepted the PSSCA Business Leadership Award. Rachel Burlington, Curator of the Portland's International Rose Test Garden was honoured for her cooperation with PSSCA in establishing a Portland Suzhou dedicated Rose Bed that will be on display at the Garden. Once again Andre and Ardina Wang honored a PSU Scholarship Award to Yamin Hong who is in pursuing a degree in accounting.

This special evening will also be foremost remembered for PSSCA President Lynne McIntyre’s wonderful stewardship of emceeing PSSCA’s Evening Under the Stars Gala for the very last time. She recently announced to the Board of PSSCA that she will be relocating to Los Angeles to join her daughter. She has been President of PSSCA on two different occasions and has been a member of the Board since 1998. She will be dearly missed. We wish her the very best and thank her for her long and dedicated service to PSSCA.

PSSCA wishes to thank the following sponsors for helping make this fundraising evening a most successful one: Platinum Sponsor, The Lan Su Chinese Garden and Polytech Heating LLC, Griffin Mesher & Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP; Gold Sponsor, The Confucius Institute and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services; Bronze Sponsorship, donor-bridge, Mark Spencer hotel and the Oregon - China Sister State Relations Council.

Newly Expanded PSSCA Board Announcement

At PSSCA's March meeting at City Hall, six new members were inducted onto the Board of Directors.

The 2017 Evening Under the Stars Gala was set for Thursday, September 21, 2017.

New members from left to right are• Jean Ni Li, Financial Advisor and Senior Marketing Director at TransAmerica Financial Advisors, Inc. • Jian Zhang, Associate Director, Confucius Institute at Portland State University • Jeffrey C. Kinkley, Courtesy Professor of History and of World Languages & Literature, Portland State University • Kevin Crotchett, Principal, Jackson Middle School, Sister City School to No. Ten Middle School, Suzhou, China • Jennifer Hubbert, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Lewis Clark University and Hong Mautz, President of Chinus Cultural Productions were on assignment and not able to join us for this special occasion. PSSCA Executive Committee Members shown in the photo are Robert Fraser, VP, on the left and Lynne McIntyre, President, Bonnie Starkey, Secretary, and Alice Lee, Treasurer on the right.

Lynne McIntyre, during her President’s report, was happy to announce on behalf of the Board, the date of the 2017 Evening under the Stars Gala for Thursday evening, September 21. Guests will have an opportunity to meet Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, meet new and old friends, enjoy a wonderful buffet, beer and wine bar, as well as music and entertainment. Please be sure to save this special date on your calendar.