Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

As Maine Goes

Governor Paul LePage is a preview of a President Donald Trump.

(Photo: AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
Like Donald Trump, Maine Governor Paul LePage has so far escaped career-shattering fallout out from repeated incendiary remarks. But the two-term Republican may have finally gone too far. On August 25, LePage left a profanity-riddled voice mail for Democratic State Representative Drew Gattine, whom LePage maintained had called him a racist after the governor said that he kept a binder of the mostly black and Hispanic alleged drug dealers. (Gattine explained that he said that LePage’s “racially charged comments” were not helping matters.) LePage later compounded his troubles, saying he wished he could challenge Gattine to a duel and calling people of color “the enemy” in the illegal drug trade. He even carried his drug-dealers tirade into a regional energy conference attended by the five other New England governors and the premiers of Canada’s five eastern provinces. The governor’s latest round of invectives has sparked a political crisis in...

Boston Neighborhood Battles Pipeline Project

(AP Photo/Kori Feener)
(AP Photo/Kori Feener) Karenna Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, protests at Spectra Energy's West Roxbury pipeline site in Boston, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Gore and others tried to block construction work by lying in a trench. In April, a Spectra Energy natural gas pipeline blew up near the western Pennsylvania town of Greensburg. Houses were damaged and one man was injured, but no one was killed. People miles from the epicenter of the blast felt the shock waves. Shock waves of a different sort reverberated all the way to Boston, where Spectra has another pipeline project already underway. “The risk here is obvious,” House Democrat Stephen Lynch, a Boston congressman, told the Boston Herald. “I see disaster on the horizon.” Cities like Boston frequently store or serve as transshipment points for hazardous materials. A rainbow-painted liquefied natural gas tank that is a local landmark sits next to a major Boston highway, while the nation’...

Bay Area Voters Take On Rent Control

Proposals to curb skyrocketing rent will soon hit the ballot in five Bay Area cities.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Image
Rents are too damn high in most major American cities. In New York, Washington, and Boston the extortionate cost of housing is a key driver of the cost of living. But none of those places can match the San Francisco metro area for the sheer terror that the rental real-estate market inspires, where just getting the keys to an apartment can easily cost five figures. California housing costs are astronomical, higher on average than any state except Hawaii. The Bay Area is the epicenter of the U.S. housing crisis, and the latest response to that predicament is a slew of rent-control ballot initiatives. Rent control rarely finds favor with economists or the real-estate industry: They complain it drives down construction starts and property tax revenues and leads to deterioration of existing properties. But rent control is the all the rage again since California has utterly failed to come to grips with its acute housing shortage, especially along the coast. Waiting for market responses is...

Soda Taxes Hit a Sweet Spot

Philadelphia’s new tax on soda will be a critical test for cash-strapped municipalities looking to raise revenue.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
“The question is very much what further taxes will be the least unpopular?” Alexander Hamilton wrote to James Madison more than 200 years ago. In 2016, the answer is a “soda tax.” Last week, Philadelphia’s City Council passed a tax on sodas and other sweetened drinks, making the City of Brotherly Love the first major American city to institute a levy on a broad range of sugared beverages. Berkeley, California, voters approved a similar tax in 2014. Soda taxes have been touted as one way to nudge residents into healthier choices. However, local and state leaders are beginning to view sugar-sweetened beverages the same way they see the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes: Lifestyle choices that can be taxed to fund government. “That’s the game you are always trying to figure out, how to fund basic services,” says Tracy Gordon, an Urban Institute State and Local Finance Initiative senior fellow. The soda tax also is a revenue...

Healing by Helping: Orlando's Strategy for Victims, Families, and Community

City officials flooded with millions in donations following the recent nightclub massacre now face a tough but increasingly common dilemma following urban tragedies: how to distribute the money.

AP Photo/David Goldman
In April, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer delivered his state of the city address . Dyer hailed Orlando as a 21st century urban exemplar bursting with the kind of dynamism that most mayors can only dream about: billions in transportation investments, a booming job market, new companies moving in, and some of the best first responders in the Sunshine State. “How do we ensure that Orlando wins?” Dyer said. “That’s a question that we can answer with, one powerful word: connectivity.” Today “connectivity” in Orlando is taking yet another form: the millions in donations flowing into the city-backed OneOrlando Fund after the shootings at the gay nightclub Pulse to help heal the city’s psychic wounds. Thanks to an innovative funding mechanism modeled after those used by other cities following similar tragedies, the money is going to community organizations as well as to the people directly affected by the killings. The OneOrlando Fund is a stark...