Emily Erdos

Emily Erdos is an editorial intern at The American Prospect. 

Recent Articles

Hurricane Sandy and the Inequalities of Resilience in New York

With the recovery from Hurricane Florence gearing up in the Carolinas, the post-Sandy experiences of one section of New York provide important clues about how low-income residents and people of color fare after natural disasters.

As the Carolinas continue to grapple with the physical damage and psychological trauma from Hurricane Florence, the region faces difficult choices. Communities must decide which lands and neighborhoods to reclaim and rebuild and which ones are best left to absorb the ravages of intensifying storms. Those decisions will play out very differently depending on the race and the income of the individuals and families hit hardest by the historic flooding. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy slammed a very different region of the country: the Rockaways section of New York. But the aftermath of that historic storm provides some sobering clues about post-hurricane resilience efforts—like the ones that didn’t really help the Rockaways’ low-income residents and people of color. Most visitors to Manhattan or Brooklyn know little about the Rockaways. The finger-like Rockaway Peninsula runs approximately nine miles off the southeast end of Queens. Less than a mile across at its widest, the...

Elizabeth Warren’s #EndCorruptionNow Blitz

The Massachusetts Democrat details her plan to rescue the federal government from the swamp monsters Donald Trump unleashed on Washington.

(Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA via AP Images)
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a powerful case for her new Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Her cheeks flushed as she launched into a full-throated condemnation of deep-seated corruption in government, especially under President Donald Trump. At one point, she lost her voice and had to stop for a sip of water, saying, “I get a little wound up on this.” “This” is what she called the “most ambitious” anti-corruption legislation since Watergate. Her proposal would make ethics—instead of profits—the guiding principle of the corporate world, a move that would drastically alter the relationship between government officials and business chieftains. Anticipating criticisms that the plan is naïve, over-optimistic, and unattainable, Warren said that she was “not giving in to cynicism.” Key features of the legislation : “Padlock the revolving door” that turns...

Can Lockers Help the Postal Service Get Hip?

With a little fine-tuning, USPS could revamp its self-service parcel locker system to compete with Amazon and win over millennials.

(Frank Duenzl/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
The United States Postal Service came out with a report at the end of July exploring how the agency can better reach millennial consumers. The sophomoric cover and optimistic content of the report have been denounced as “hilariously dumb.” But in reality, USPS is headed in the right direction. Despite struggling toward solvency , it’s unfair to blame USPS for its $45 billion loss in the last decade. As the Prospect reported in April, this isn’t about Amazon or any other postal service customer (which is what Amazon really is, a customer). It’s about ditching the saddle-bags that USPS has been lugging since 2006, courtesy of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). Congress foisted PAEA on the Postal Service back when the agency was in the black, requiring it to set aside money for future postal employees’ retirements for the next 75 years. No other public or private institution has ever been required to do this. If they had been, they...

Is ‘Jeopardy!’ Crossing Racial Lines?

Alex Trebek, longtime and iconic Jeopardy! Host, announced his possible retirement on Sunday. At 78 years old and recently having had brain surgery, Trebek told Fox News that he is “50-50” for remaining host after his contract expires in 2020.

Trebek’s departure, of course, wouldn’t be the end of the show, but it would leave the podium open for a new host. Trebek gave two recommendations for his potential heirs.

“The fellow who does play-by-play for the Los Angeles Kings, they should consider him,” Trebek told TMZ. He’s talking about Alex Faust, a 28-year-old announcer for the Los Angeles hockey team.

For his second pick, Trebek said, “There is an attorney, Laura Coates, she’s African American and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time.”

Why was her race one of her primary identifiers? There’s plenty more that Trebek could have cited from Coates’s impressive resume. Coates is a Princeton grad, a successful lawyer for the Department of Justice, a book author, and a legal analyst for SiriusXM and CNN.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe Trebek just wanted to highlight the progressiveness of the show. But even if this is the case, true acceptance would be highlighting Coates’s achievements as making her qualified, rather than her race.

Trebek didn’t say that Faust was white and male, but I suppose he didn’t have to. Since Jeopardy! debuted in 1964, the host of the show has always been a white male.

Saturday Night Live has used Jeopardy! as a vehicle to highlight the divisiveness of race in America through their “Black Jeopardy” skits. Typically, these skits are formatted like a regular Jeopardy! game show (with Kenan Thompson as the host, Darnell Hayes aka “Alex Treblack”) with two black contestants and one white contestant, whose ignorance about the nuances of African American culture is exposed through the questions and responses.

It will be interesting to see how viewers of the real Jeopardy!—whose average age is 65—will react to the possibility of a young black woman hosting the nightly weekday show, possibly making parts of the sardonic SNL skit a reality.

Q&A: Prospects for Redistricting Reform

With post-census redistricting just a few years away, states have the opportunity to enact reforms that prevent the most egregious gerrymandering.

I n its most recent term, the Supreme Court punted two cases about gerrymandering back to lower courts. These cases questioned the district lines in Wisconsin and Maryland that state legislators drew after the 2010 census. Plaintiffs claimed that the lines, drawn by officials up for re-election, unfairly favored specific political parties and incumbents, prevented competitive elections, and misrepresented the state’s political demographics. Without those Supreme Court decisions, the redistricting process remains vulnerable to gerrymandering. Proposed changes to the upcoming census could also influence the redistricting process after 2020, but individual states have taken action to make the redistricting process fairer. The American Prospect spoke to Brennan Center for Justice Counsel Michael Li about potential state-level solutions and how the census could impact redistricting in 2020. This interview has been edited and condensed. TAP: Each state handles redistricting...