Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Charlie and the MBTA

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s privatization initiative at greater Boston’s transit authority has realized short-term savings—but the cure is still adequate public investment.

AP Photo/Steven Senne
This article originally appared in the Summer 2017 issue of The American Prospect. Subscribe here . screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png “Let the governor know that you are out here!” That shout went up under a hot morning sun in mid-May, as orange-shirted transit union workers and their labor, community, and political allies spread out on the pavement below the Massachusetts State House in Boston to protest the latest privatization proposal by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the Boston-area transit agency, known as the T. This one involved outsourcing its bus maintenance work to a private company, a move that would eliminate many jobs. But Republican Governor Charlie Baker wasn’t around to hear the cheering or the speeches. He had decamped to the other side of town for a ribbon-cutting marking the opening of a new, privately financed commuter rail station in Allston-Brighton—one underwritten by New Balance, the Boston-based athletic shoe...

Can Trump Succeed Where Reagan Failed?

Determined to stamp out sanctuary cities, Trump and congressional Republicans plod on, but the anti-apartheid battles of the 1980s demonstrate that such movements are easily cowed by presidents.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
On Thursday, the House passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act , which proposes to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to cooperate with Trump administration immigration measures aimed at criminal noncitizens and other undocumented people. The bill would also allow individuals and close family members of individuals who are victims of felonies committed by undocumented immigrants who have been released from local or state custody against the advice of federal authorities to file suit against states. The day before, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on Congress to work on bipartisan immigration and criminal justice law reforms, adding that cities could use more federal assistance to fight terrorism and crime, and provide mental illness, substance abuse, and reentry programs. Landrieu said in a letter to House members that local leaders do not want their law enforcement officers involved in federal immigration...

The False Promise of Trump’s Rural Infrastructure Investment

The president’s loyal fans cheer him on, but that’s because they haven’t been reading the scorecard.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
“We will rebuild rural America,” President Donald Trump told an adoring audience at the Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a few days ago. The president enjoys tantalizing the public with hints about his gonna-be-great-again infrastructure plans. But there is enough evidence to make clear that those “beautiful red” rural communities and the people that Trump professes to love are ones that are going to get shafted: Trump’s plans for rebuilding rural America may only further isolate those regions from the healthier sectors of the economy. “We have to make sure American farmers and their families, wherever they may be, wherever they may go, have the infrastructure projects that they need to compete and grow,” Trump proclaimed. But the details of the infrastructure plans that have trickled out of Washington so far only heighten anxieties about rural America’s economy, much like the ones congressional Republicans have stoked...

Trump Tweets, States Churn

States are showing signs of fiscal stress with little notice or expectation of assistance from Washington.

AP Photo/Steven Senne
Last month, the Pew Charitable Trusts released its “Rainy Day Funds and State Credit Ratings” report, which explored how state policymakers can avoid damaging credit-rating downgrades. “In times of economic expansion, the agencies will reward states that deposit growing revenue as a cushion against future budget gaps when the economic cycle declines,” Pew noted. Pew spotlighted Massachusetts, where Republican Governor Charlie Baker and state legislative leaders steered $200 million into the state’s stabilization or “rainy day” fund in fiscal 2016 in the hope of staving off a black mark from Wall Street’s powerful credit-ratings agencies. The state’s move came after finger-wagging from Standard & Poor’s about the Bay State’s bad habit of dipping into the fund to plug budget holes and failing to adequately replenish it—a strategy that both Baker and Deval Patrick, his immediate Democratic predecessor, have used...

Black Is Beautiful, But Hair Is Still Political

How a suburban Boston charter school’s dress code underscores whites’ obsession with African American hair

(Photo: Shutterstock)
In the spring of 2014, the Army banned black women soldiers from wearing natural hairstyles like cornrows, even though those easy-care looks meant that some women could give up the scalp-damaging chemical relaxers used to straighten tightly curled African American hair. The Army endured weeks of withering abuse and a congressional intervention before the service finally ditched the policy. Today, the Army and other branches spell out precise haircare parameters that permit natural styles that do not run afoul of grooming regulations. The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb, apparently missed this heads-up on the absurdity of forcing African Americans to conform to white haircare grooming standards. African American students make up 20 percent of the nearly 1,500 students at the K–12 school and outperform their peers in the region. But as the furor over the school’s discriminatory hair policies simmers, school officials give every...

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