Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

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
AP Photo/Susan Walsh A supporter listens as President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “ 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...

Trump Tweets, States Churn

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

AP Photo/Steven Senne
AP Photo/Steven Senne Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker takes questions from members of the media during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston. L ast 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...

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)
(Photo: Shutterstock) I n 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...

That Sinking Feeling: Trump’s Coast Guard Charm Offensive

(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh)
(Photo: AP/Susan Walsh) President Trump salutes as he leaves commencement exercises at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, on May 17, 2017. D onald Trump’s exquisite sense of personal indignation over slights real and imagined was on full display Wednesday at the commencement exercises for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Class of 2017. And for those keeping score, the contradictions between Trump’s words and his actions were difficult to ignore. In March, contrary to his zeal for all things military, President Trump had proposed slashing the Coast Guard budget by $1.3 billion, a 12 percent cut that made the Guard the only one of the five military branches subject to the administration’s slash-and-burn budget. A bipartisan group of senators ultimately blocked the cuts. Two months later, Trump came to New London, Connecticut, passing over his attempt to decimate the Guard but taking care to lick his gaping emotional wounds. “No politician in history has been treated...

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...

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