Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Want Transit? Get It on the Ballot!

A record number of transportation-related ballot initiatives will be before voters this Election Day.

(Photo: AP/Seth Perlman)
(Photo: AP/Seth Perlman) Construction crews work to build a four-lane highway on Route 29 in Edinburg, Illinois. The state has a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year geared toward preventing transportation funding from being used elsewhere. S ome voters who can’t get there from here may soon be able to. An estimated $200 billion in transportation ballot initiatives go before voters around the country on November 8. The 72 initiatives that will have been put to voters by year’s end represent the highest number of transit ballot questions since the Center for Transportation Excellence began tracking ballot initiatives in 2000. Of those, 44, or about 60 percent, will be decided on Election Day. “Communities are increasingly looking to the ballot box as a tool for transit investment,” says Jason Jordon, the center’s executive director. Transit ballot questions give municipalities the opportunity to get public buy-in (and, in some cases, give politicians a way out of taking a...

Election Protection: Keeping Calm and Carrying On

As Trump encourages intimidation at the polls, a nationwide coalition of voting rights advocates aims to fight back.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, February 27, 2013, to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby v. Holder voting rights case. D onald Trump has not only challenged the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election, he has challenged many citizens’ right to vote. In one stump speech after another, he’s called on his supporters, in the name of suppressing all-but-nonexistent voter fraud, to go into cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis to eyeball—and if all goes well, intimidate—African American voters at the polls. He’s put Mike Roman, a Republican political operative best known for dialing up fears about the tiny fringe group New Black Panthers during the 2008 election, in charge of his “election protection” effort. But Trump’s threat to voting has galvanized state and local election officials and voting advocates across the political spectrum in a pushback against the most serious voter intimidation effort that...

Massachusetts Charter School Debate Could Turn on Funding

A ballot initiative to expand charters in the Bay State may put fiscal pressure on cash-strapped municipalities.

AP Photo/The Christian Science Monitor, Ann Hermes
AP Photo/The Christian Science Monitor, Ann Hermes Boston Collegiate Charter High School algebra teacher, Arielle Zern, reviews for a test with freshmen on June 16, 2014 in Dorchester, Massachusetts. I n a few weeks, Massachusetts voters will weigh on whether to open more charter schools. Debate on the measure is fierce, as one might expect in a state known for its superior public education system. The pros and cons of charters have been thoroughly hashed and rehashed, but the discussion about how to pay for these new schools, should the question pass, can’t be heard above the siren song of school choice. But fiscal reality bites: The Bay State strains to finance the schools it has, much less batches of new ones. Many local leaders continue to fret about what might happen to their municipal bottom lines if the “Question 2” ballot initiative passes. And they should. The initiative proposes to allow state education officials to approve up to 12 new charters or the expansion of existing...

Recreational Marijuana Ballot Measures Usher In Next Phase in Drug War

With five states poised to vote on legalizing pot, millennials and minority groups are key voting blocs.

(Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
(Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli) An opponent of California's Proposition 64 holds signs during a rally at the Capitol in Sacramento on October 4. T he five recreational marijuana ballot initiatives that go before voters next month send the clearest signals yet that the country’s ill-fated drug war has entered a new and potentially decisive phase. Legalization questions appear on ballots in five states: Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Recent polls indicate that the measures are leading in all five states, ranging from a high of 60 percent of voters supporting legalization in California (with 36 percent opposed and 4 percent undecided) to 50 percent in Arizona (with 40 percent opposed and 9 percent undecided). But the prospects for passage or defeat will rest with three key groups: millennials, African Americans, and Latinos. Not surprisingly, individual state polls show that young people are the strongest supporters for legalization. In Massachusetts, 81 percent of...

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