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Waterloo talks diversity, development in 2020 State of the City address

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- For the Waterloo State of the City address this year, the theme was "Waterloo Leads."

Throughout the presentation the Mayor Quentin Hart, various department heads, business owners, and a local activist all shared their thoughts on how the city is doing.

Waterloo mayor gives State of the City address

WATCH LIVE: Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart gives the State of the City address. We will have a full report tonight at 5 & 6. More details on the address here:

Posted by KWWL on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Development, diversity, and inclusion were all major topics.

"It's really about bringing new jobs, new tax bases, new opportunities," said Noel Anderson, the city's planning and zoning director.

In 2020, the city boasts more than $30 million more in building permits than average. Anderson pointed out major investments at Lost Island, the Waterloo Regional Airport, and the city's numerous industrial park.

"We must see growth in every sector of the community," Mayor Hart said.

Once named the worst city for Black Americans, Waterloo has thankfully lost that label but there's still work to be done.

"Protests may stop, that doesn't mean the work has to stop. That means we begin, and that's listening to voices," Hart said on KWWL News at Noon following the address.

Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald, who has brought forth a number of police reforms, agreed with the mayor.

"This is perhaps an area where we can't get it wrong," Fitzgeral said, noting that many of the demonstrations in Waterloo were calling for significant change.

Fitzgerald revised the department's use of force policy earlier this year and spoke on accountability for officers as well as the city.

"What is going to be steady is that city government and public safety are going to be the guardians and the accountable folks, that we need to be to drive our city into the future as one of unity and in the spirit of this presentation, a city that leads," Fitzgerald said.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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