Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her Twitter is @gurleygg, and her email is

Recent Articles

Q&A: Can Black America Stay Strong Under Trump?

National Urban League President Marc Morial sees African American social and economic progress holding steady. But he warns that the Trump threat is real and activists must stay focused if they want to see better political results.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial speaks about the 2017 State of Black America report at the National Urban League in Washington. The state of black America, says the National Urban League, is strong. The Obama administration created 15 million new jobs, while the black unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in a decade. High school graduation rates improved; the Affordable Care Act improved health outcomes and reduced the numbers of the uninsured. The National Urban League’s 2017 State of Black America “Protecting our Progress” report looks at these indicators and also compares African American and Latino progress to whites’ in nearly 70 metropolitan areas to provide a snapshot of current social and economic well-being of the two groups. But the improving condition of black America was then (Obama Time) and this is now (Trump Time). However ineptly they go about it, President Trump and congressional Republicans aim to set in motion a...

A Monumental Cave-In

Ryan Zinke and Donald Trump go after the lands set aside to preserve America’s natural heritage—even though they’ve already started to provide economic benefits.

Bureau of Land Management/Public Domain
Bureau of Land Management/Public Domain Indian Creek and Cliffside, Bears Ears National Monument O n his first day on the job in Washington, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rode to his new office on a National Park Service horse. Next week, he heads to Utah for another horse-powered photo op through the tougher terrain of the Bears Ears, which President Obama designated a national monument. “I'm going to ride a horse, like Teddy Roosevelt, and see the land and talk to the Navajo and the nations of tribes,” Zinke said . The trip is part of Zinke’s review of large-area national monument designations made under presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama (although Bush established just four of the 24 monuments.). Theodore Roosevelt would likely be outraged by the underlying mission—scaling back the monuments—that Zinke has been tapped to carry out as he trots along on whatever trusty steed his Utah hosts rustle up for him. Zinke’s boss, President Donald Trump, recently signed...

Turning Up the Heat on WMATA

Serious maintenance issues continue to plague Washington’s transit system, but securing a dependable funding source remains the biggest hurdle

AJ Mast via AP Images
AJ Mast via AP Images A Metro train pulls into a station in Washington, D.C. F ires in Washington’s Metrorail system are so frequent and predictable (invariably involving the Red Line, the system’s oldest and most travelled route) that there are t-shirts, a website, and at least one active Twitter account devoted to exclusively to Metro fires. But comic relief is fleeting for the region’s commuters who are well aware of the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) fatal mishaps . Thursday morning’s commute, which saw smoke from an overheated rail fastener billowing through tunnels, provided more evidence, as if any were needed, that Metro is a mess. The fire-prone Red Line managed to mark Take Your Child To Work Day in a way that the parents and kids crammed into railcars or stranded on platforms or forced to seek alternate routes will never forget. In recent years, ridership has declined significantly and every near miss sends more people above ground for safer and more...

One Toke Over the Line with Trump and Sessions

Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions may want to curb marijuana use, but like trying to do away with Obamacare, it may already be too late.

AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File
AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File Marijuana plants for sale at a medical marijuana provider in Los Angeles. A ttorney General Jeff Sessions had little to celebrate on the annual marijuana holiday this week. President Donald Trump has not said much to back him up on the issue, leaving Sessions as a lone voice in the federal wilderness. He has opined that medical marijuana has been “ hyped ,” and he doubles down at every available opportunity on beefing up enforcement against the Schedule 1 drug, even though many states and localities have taken off in a completely different direction. With too many balls already in the air, administration officials are positioned to have another one conk them on their collective head. For one thing, Sessions is simply too late: A number of states have already decided the marijuana question. Any federal move to crack down on recreational users or medical marijuana patients and their suppliers users would be met with a blowback similar to, if not even more...

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)
(Photo: Flickr/Aurelien Guichard) New York City 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...