Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Gritty Urban Chic and the Politics of Backlash

Critic Richard Florida predicted the urban resurgence—what surprised him was the reaction of the displaced.

(Photo: Flickr/Aurelien Guichard)
P ittsburgh, New York, and Newark may signal rust belt chic to some, but this troika of iconic urban places were touchstones for Richard Florida, a self-proclaimed urban diagnostician. Resurrecting gritty industrial Pittsburgh by harnessing its heritage, parks, neighborhoods, and universities to a strategy of attracting a new generation of talent was the secret sauce for The Rise of the Creative Class , his bestselling work on the knowledge economy. Unhappy as an undergraduate premedical student at Rutgers University, Florida’s ah-ha moment came courtesy of an urban geography class assignment to document New York neighborhoods—the East Village, the West Village, Soho, Tribeca. Florida was entranced by a city emerging from the dismal funk of the 1970s and into its own frenetic revival paced by artists, punk rockers, and new wavers among others. He dispensed with the sweat, blood, and guts of pre-med for concrete, asphalt, and parks of urbanism. However, the resurgence of...

Trump’s Crash Course in the African American Experience

The Congressional Black Caucus got back to basics when they met with the president. But what they may get out of the encounter remains murky.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
The Congressional Black Caucus leadership team did not go to the White House to talk about urban carnage or April Ryan. Instead, over the course of more than a half-hour with the 45th president of the United States, they laid out the full spectrum of issues facing Africans Americans and what he could do about them—if he wanted to get past posturing. To get Trump to focus like a laser, they reminded him of his time campaign trail speaking to adoring throngs of white people in small places with few black faces. He used to boast that Democratic candidates courted the black vote only to turn their backs on African Americans until the next election: Why not vote for him? “What do you have to lose?" he famously asked. So the CBC presented Trump with a new report , “We Have a Lot to Lose.” The CBC regularly sends an agenda of key issues up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But they usually focus on the politics of working with the nation’s chief executive not...

The Perils of P3s

A new Economic Policy Institute report finds that public-private partnerships are “economic snake oil.” Exhibit A is North Carolina’s Interstate 77 project.

The next big thing in American infrastructure investment is public-private partnerships. Although private companies have long played a key role in designing and constructing public projects, federal and state officials increasingly view the private sector as the dollars-and-cents answer to digging out of the rubble of failing highways, bridges, and transit. Both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan tout them as one way to reduce the use of public monies in their as-yet-to-be-detailed infrastructure dreamscapes. Public-private partnerships may indeed provide the dollars that fearful politicians are unable to pry from the pockets of their tax-averse constituents. But P3s, as they are known in the infrastructure sector, are more complex than they appear to people who just want to get where they’re going. In a new Economic Policy Institute report, “ No Free Bridge ,” researcher Hunter Blair shows just why these partnerships are far from a “eureka...

Taking a Scalpel to Medicaid

Republican claims of their bill's great flexibility for the states are a sham cover for disabling cuts.

(Photo: AP/Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
This article appears in the upcoming Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . As Republicans struggle over how Congress can pass some version of their health-insurance cuts, lost in the debate is the fact that the Affordable Care Act’s greatest achievement was the expansion of Medicaid. The most dire cuts in the proposed GOP legislation would be both to basic Medicaid and to the people who qualified for the ACA expansion. The bill not only phases out the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act; it guts basic Medicaid itself. A core provision converts Medicaid from an entitlement, for which people automatically qualify based on income or other criteria of need, into a fixed per capita block grant to the states, with much-reduced federal aid. The only possible consequence can be to throw millions of people off Medicaid. When the Congressional Budget Office calculated the impact of the Republican legislation in mid-March, it found that 24...

DOD and EPA Go Mano a Mano on Climate Change

While Scott Pruitt dithers over whether humans have caused climate change, James Mattis underlines it as a threat to national security.

Chris Kleponis/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Awkward is one way to describe having two men with polar opposite views on an issue advise the president of the United States. Secretary of Defense James Mattis views climate change as a national security threat; Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt asserts that human activity is not a primary contributor to a warming planet. One man has expressed concerns about how his department and the country will meet the threat; the other appears poised to virtually erase the agency tasked with ameliorating its effects. In this science-phobic administration, climate change is a nuisance to be ignored. But President Trump, a climate change denier, and his EPA chief, a fossil fuels proponent, may have met their match in Mattis and the Pentagon. In 1970, Richard Nixon established the EPA. “The Congress, the administration and the public all share a profound commitment to the rescue of our natural environment, and the preservation of the Earth as a place both habitable by...