Iowa Starting Line is very pleased to announce the newest member of our ever-growing Iowa reporting team. Rachelle Chase will start in August as our Waterloo-based reporter.
You may recognize her name, but if not, you’re likely familiar with her work. Chase has written two books on Buxton, Iowa, the historic coal town that existed as a “Black Utopia” at the turn of the 20th century, where white and black residents worked and lived together in harmony. She’s spoken extensively across Iowa about the town and her research into it.
Chase is a longtime author who has lived and worked all across the country in many different fields, moving to Iowa from San Francisco in 2014 several years after hearing about Buxton from a friend in Iowa. She currently lives in Ottumwa.
This will serve as Starting Line’s first fully community-based reporting position. While Starting Line started out as mostly a political insider site in January 2015, our news outlet has grown considerably since, expanding into significant policy and government reporting since our large expansion to multiple full-time reporters in 2019 during the Iowa Caucus.
Now we want to try out doing a sustained examination of a single Iowa city, building up sources and local knowledge to tell in-depth and unique stories. The overarching goal will be to tell the story of one of the most diverse cities in Iowa and lift up the stories of the people there, their communities, the challenges they face, and the solutions local leaders are working on. We have funding to run this new project for at least six months, but will be looking for more.
Chase won’t be starting up until next week, but you can start sending story suggestions or tips to her at Rachelle@IowaStartingLine.com.
For those keeping track, our post-caucus core Starting Line team is: Libby Meyer, our federal reporter; Isabella Murray, our investigative and statehouse reporter; Claudia Thrane, our Immigrant Voices reporter; Adam Henderson, our administrative director; Pat Rynard, the managing editor; and now Rachelle Chase, our soon-to-be Waterloo reporter.