Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Trump Snubs Republican Mayors

Donald Trump wrapped up his convention without one word to Republican mayors, which should come as little surprise for a candidate with essentially no urban policy agenda.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Oklahoma City’s Republican Mayor, Mick Cornett, can stop waiting for Donald Trump to deliver an urban policy briefing—or even to answer his phone. In an alternate universe, the Republican presidential nominee would have courted Cornett, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, along with other GOP mayors in Cleveland, for for a long-overdue conversation about American cities. Cornett has been trying to meet up with the now-official GOP nominee for weeks. But Cornett is looking for leadership in all the wrong places. The man who could be the next president of the United States hasn’t shown any interest getting in touch with him. Perhaps that’s why Cornett devoted his brief Monday afternoon convention address to the topic of the “growing force” of Republican mayors. Their numbers are still modest; of the 500 largest cities in the U.S., only about 150 of them—including San Diego, Anaheim, Albuquerque, Jacksonville, and Fort Worth...

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...

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