November 30, 2021 Board Meeting

Present: Mumin Barre, Tracey-Alexis Dixon, Sabrina Hsu, Jeannette Noltenius, Nick Arrindell, Clemmie Solomon, Michael Mills,Yasin Yimam, Roman Santillian, Bruce Adams

Absent: Ashwani Jain, Alicia Hannon, Joy West, Matthew Lee, Nan Qiao

Staff: Arwa Khadr


The meeting was called to order via zoom at 6:05 pm by the Chair, Mumin Barre.

Approval of the Agenda. On a motion to approve the agenda by Clemmie and seconded by Mike, the agenda was approved.


Approval of Minutes of the October meeting. After a motion that was seconded, the minutes were approved.


Financial Report, After a motion that was seconded, the Treasurer’s report was accepted as is by all. Going forward, the negative balances will no longer be noted in the treasure’s report.


Update: County Government (MSC, FY23 Grant /Staffing). Arwa stated OCP is still in the of process of hiring a short term temp Admin Assistant for MSC, while OCP finalizes the Senior Fellow position in OCP. She provided an update on vacation and information on

vaccination. The information was shared in the zoom chat box and can be found on the County website, and OCP Newsletter. Arwa did not have an update on the MSC FY23 grant in the CE budget.


Sister Cities Committee Reports:


China: Sabrina reported that Shaanix's 100 Pairs of International Sister Cities conference was successful. The conference highlighted the community leaders and their work within their respective areas. Also noted was the inclusion of the video and letter by our County Executive during the celebration.


S.Korea: The January 2022 visit by a delegation from Daejeon has been cancelled. It is possible that the delegation may visit Montgomery County some time the future.


El Salvador: Jeannette was excited to report about the committee’s experience working with MCTV in the production of the short documentary. This was very successful and the committee seemed to have learned quite a lot about working with MCTV. Further, she reported that the committee met with the staff of our elected officials and State

Department and requested assistance to secure funding and other necessary resources for the University in El Salvador.

Fundraising event: Friday, 12/3/2021 at 7 pm at the Civic Center, Silver Spring.


Ethiopia: On January 11, 2022, there will be a meeting with the MCTV staff to discuss the plan to do a short documentary.

Yasin gave a brief update on the current situation in Ethiopia. He noted that the political situation is still uncertain but feels that Ethiopia has the opportunity to ease the crisis between the government and the opposition. He also noted that the committee is not prepared to respond to any aspect of the political situation given that would go beyond the scope of the committee and Sister Cities mission.


Mumin has suggested setting up a committee level meeting to go over how best to assist Gondar during this crisis.


Other Items:


The consensus is to hold the annual Board and Sister City committees meeting in September/October 2022.


There is an urgent need to take steps to implement the recommendations for Sister City Committees that are outlined in the Strategic Plan, including but not limited to, the goal of reviving, reenergizing, and invigorating the committees as well as identifying and recruiting new members to join the committees.


Other recommendations are as follows:

● Male and female representation on the Board.

● Broaden the representation & participation on the Sister City committees.

● Develop operating procedures for ensuring basic accountability to the board and to the public.

● Submit an annual plan to the MSC board, keep in touch with its Sister City, and organize a

minimum of two community events.


A special committee is being formed to work with the Sister City committees. Bruce, Jeanette & Mumin agreed to serve on this Committee. Others are being asked to serve on this committee.


The meeting ended at 6:51 p.m.

Next Meeting, January 18, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.


Submitted by Nick Arrindell. Board Member

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