Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is ggurley@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Does Clinton’s Campaign Lack the Human Touch in Black Communities?

The absence of an early, focused voter mobilization campaign may be taking a toll.

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara
In the waning days of the most divisive contest in modern presidential history, early-voting trends suggest that many African Americans voters have checked out of Election 2016. No Democratic candidate would ever be likely to match Barack Obama’s historic success or his ability to turn out black voters (save perhaps Michelle Obama, who has vowed never to run for public office) Hillary Clinton’s equally historic quest to be the first woman president has gotten lost amid the media’s 24/7 coverage of Donald Trump’s daily eruptions. But that’s just one reason why some African American voters are underwhelmed by the prospect of a Clinton presidency. Another fundamental problem is a Democratic ground game that may completely eclipse Republican efforts nationwide, but which pales in comparison to the Democrats’ African American outreach in 2008 and 2012. At this past summer’s National Association of Black Journalists conference, some attendees argued...

Infrastructure: Can We Finally Think Big?

The defining challenge of the next president’s infrastructure agenda will be persuading Congress to come along for the ride.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . The Great Depression stimulated America’s first major investments in modern infrastructure. Undertakings like the Hoover Dam, LaGuardia Airport, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Golden Gate Bridge, and thousands of lesser-known road, rail, sewer, waterway, levee, and energy projects put millions of people back to work and transformed the American landscape. These marvels of American 20th-century infrastructure have long since ceded pride of place to European and Asian 21st-century state-of-the-art projects. Today, New Deal–era and even older assets barely keep the United States moving; many, if not most of them, have long since passed their useful lifespans. The Great Recession brought the country to another crossroads on infrastructure. But where the New Deal went full throttle on innovation, President Barack Obama’s Rooseveltian instincts were curbed by 21st-century economic...

Want Transit? Get It on the Ballot!

A record number of transportation-related ballot initiatives will be before voters this Election Day.

(Photo: AP/Seth Perlman)
Some voters who can’t get there from here may soon be able to. An estimated $200 billion in transportation ballot initiatives go before voters around the country on November 8. The 72 initiatives that will have been put to voters by year’s end represent the highest number of transit ballot questions since the Center for Transportation Excellence began tracking ballot initiatives in 2000. Of those, 44, or about 60 percent, will be decided on Election Day. “Communities are increasingly looking to the ballot box as a tool for transit investment,” says Jason Jordon, the center’s executive director. Transit ballot questions give municipalities the opportunity to get public buy-in (and, in some cases, give politicians a way out of taking a tough tax vote in a hostile anti-tax climate). Local questions appeal to voters who understand how a specific project benefits their city or town, the environment, and their own commute and recreation choices. These campaigns...

Election Protection: Keeping Calm and Carrying On

As Trump encourages intimidation at the polls, a nationwide coalition of voting rights advocates aims to fight back.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Donald Trump has not only challenged the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election, he has challenged many citizens’ right to vote. In one stump speech after another, he’s called on his supporters, in the name of suppressing all-but-nonexistent voter fraud, to go into cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis to eyeball—and if all goes well, intimidate—African American voters at the polls. He’s put Mike Roman, a Republican political operative best known for dialing up fears about the tiny fringe group New Black Panthers during the 2008 election, in charge of his “election protection” effort. But Trump’s threat to voting has galvanized state and local election officials and voting advocates across the political spectrum in a pushback against the most serious voter intimidation effort that the country has faced since the 1965 Voting Rights Act ended the routine denial of the franchise to Southern blacks. Republican...

Massachusetts Charter School Debate Could Turn on Funding

A ballot initiative to expand charters in the Bay State may put fiscal pressure on cash-strapped municipalities.

AP Photo/The Christian Science Monitor, Ann Hermes
In a few weeks, Massachusetts voters will weigh on whether to open more charter schools. Debate on the measure is fierce, as one might expect in a state known for its superior public education system. The pros and cons of charters have been thoroughly hashed and rehashed, but the discussion about how to pay for these new schools, should the question pass, can’t be heard above the siren song of school choice. But fiscal reality bites: The Bay State strains to finance the schools it has, much less batches of new ones. Many local leaders continue to fret about what might happen to their municipal bottom lines if the “Question 2” ballot initiative passes. And they should. The initiative proposes to allow state education officials to approve up to 12 new charters or the expansion of existing charters annually, not to exceed 1 percent of statewide public school enrollment. If the board received more than 12 applications, new charters would go to those districts whose...

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