Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Healing by Helping: Orlando's Strategy for Victims, Families, and Community

City officials flooded with millions in donations following the recent nightclub massacre now face a tough but increasingly common dilemma following urban tragedies: how to distribute the money.

AP Photo/David Goldman
In April, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer delivered his state of the city address . Dyer hailed Orlando as a 21st century urban exemplar bursting with the kind of dynamism that most mayors can only dream about: billions in transportation investments, a booming job market, new companies moving in, and some of the best first responders in the Sunshine State. “How do we ensure that Orlando wins?” Dyer said. “That’s a question that we can answer with, one powerful word: connectivity.” Today “connectivity” in Orlando is taking yet another form: the millions in donations flowing into the city-backed OneOrlando Fund after the shootings at the gay nightclub Pulse to help heal the city’s psychic wounds. Thanks to an innovative funding mechanism modeled after those used by other cities following similar tragedies, the money is going to community organizations as well as to the people directly affected by the killings. The OneOrlando Fund is a stark...

Washington’s New Columbia State of Mind

In an aggressive new push for statehood, D.C. leaders have taken aim at national party platforms and state-level organizations. 

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Next week’s D.C. primary, a blip on the presidential primary schedule, probably won’t attract much notice. But there is one intriguing event on the Washington political calendar next week: a constitutional convention on D.C. statehood, where Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials will draft the governing precepts for what they are calling the state of New Columbia. Leaders in the fight for statehood have passed the torch from one generation to the next. But the 2016 campaign season marks the culmination of a strategic push by the District’s statehood supporters to use the constitutional convention, a November statehood ballot question, and the current presidential election cycle to launch a national debate over the city’s political status. Longtime statehood backer Bernie Sanders reiterated his support for statehood Thursday. Hillary Clinton shared her pro-statehood views in a local African American newspaper. Even Donald Trump says he favors expanded D.C...

First Flint –- Now Philly?

Philadelphia is only the latest city to face legal action over lead contamination in drinking water.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
In 2014, a City of Philadelphia Water Quality Report contained this reassuring message: “We are committed to reducing the corrosive effects of plumbing and lead levels in water.” The report’s authors encouraged readers to distribute the findings widely to apartment complexes, businesses, nursing homes, and schools. This week, a group of Philadelphia residents filed a class action lawsuit against the city, alleging that for years municipal officials knew about the city’s lead-contaminated water supply and did nothing to warn residents. Philadelphia is just the latest city to be hauled into court over post-Flint water contamination and testing issues, and it is probably not the last. An investigation by The Guardian found that at least 33 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, used faulty water testing protocols, similar to the ones identified in the Flint debacle. The Guardian also identified potential major contamination issues in in 17...

Getting Beyond ‘Broken Windows’ Policing in Illegal Dirt Bike Dilemma

As some cities continue to address the problem with punitive methods, other cities are taking a more collaborative approach.

(Photo: AP/Connecticut Post/Autumn Driscoll)
When the weather warms up in New York and other cities, some young men take to the streets on non-street-legal motorcycles, known as dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. The illegal caravans of young men performing acrobatics and weaving in out of traffic at high speeds are free entertainment for some bystanders, but a seasonal nightmare for police departments. The bikes pollute neighborhoods with noise, put pedestrians and drivers at risk for injuries and death, and leave youth at risk for potentially dangerous confrontations with police, encounters that have a high potential for violence. “We are going to crush them on TV to make a point,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio last month. That’s what the New York Police Department plans to do with the hundreds of illegal dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles that the city has seized. The dirt bike phenomenon has produced two types of responses from police and municipal officials: One relies on classic tactics of...

Long Lines and Disasters: The TSA in a Time of Troubles

A conversation with former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Juliette Kayyem on the future of airport security.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
The Transportation Security Administration is a perennial punching bag for air travelers, members of Congress, and municipal officials from coast to coast. However, the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 en route to Cairo from Paris puts the ongoing furor over the long waits at TSA security checkpoints into a different perspective. “The [TSA’s] priority is security, it is not ease of travel,” says Juliette Kayyem, a former Homeland Security assistant secretary and currently an emergency management and national security lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The EgyptAir tragedy comes at a time when public frustration with the TSA has been mounting. Last week, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned that passengers could expect even longer waits during the summer travel season which sent members of Congress into paroxysms of criticism . House Republicans have scheduled a hearing on the issues, which is almost guaranteed to be an...

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