Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is

Recent Articles

Racism Merges into New York’s Ride-Hailing Debate

To fight traffic congestion, the New York City Council plans to vote on new curbs on Uber and Lyft. But some civil rights advocates are not on board. 

screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Once upon a time in the city of New York, the subway was the only way to go. There was no contest between fast, reliable, no-frills trains or the gridlock upstairs. For sheer cultural immersion, nothing is more New York than the subway. Couples marry there, women give birth, kids can learn the alphabet . Besides, where else would a pizza-carrying rat catapult into internet stardom? But upstate in Albany, a parade of governors and state lawmakers couldn’t care less about the public transportation problems of a few million little people. Still worse, they had no compunction about siphoning off big bucks from the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority for more important Empire State concerns like ski resorts . The resulting underground decline has turned New York transit into a travesty, a first-order-of-magnitude hassle of constant delays and breakdowns. Those who can do have other options. Enter Uber. Since the ride-hailing...

Is 'Buy America' at Risk?

A simple question posed by the Federal Transit Administration in a Transportation Department online forum prompts new worries about Trump’s next deregulation juggernaut.

(Maurizio Gambarini/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
President Trump sent European Union leaders reeling with his demands that their countries “buy American” during his combative mid-July tour of the continent. But in the president’s continuing quest to contradict himself and discombobulate opponents, federal transit officials back home are going through an elaborate show of garnering public feedback on a potentially explosive topic that could undermine the Reagan-era Buy America program that helps protect certain American industry jobs. “What is a Federal Project?” is a seemingly innocuous question posted in the Department of Transportation’s “Ideas” online forum, which solicits feedback on prospective initiatives. In this case, the Federal Transit Administration wants to speed up the conception, construction, and delivery of transit projects by recasting how “federal projects” are defined. Federal transit officials intend to “review the thresholds for defining whether a...

Transportation Gridlock in the Northeast Bridges over Troubled Partisan Waters

A new Sierra Club survey finds bipartisan agreement on the region’s public transportation woes and support for stronger efforts to deal with air pollution and climate change.

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Democrats, Republicans, and independents don’t agree on much in an era when politics is all vinegar and venom. But as the urbanized Northeast Corridor verges on 24/7 gridlock, most people can get over the political divide and agree that getting where they want to go, when they want to get there, is well-nigh impossible. They want to see transportation arteries revitalized, quality public transit options worthy of this century, and serious attention paid to health threats like air pollution and climate change. That’s the upshot of a new Sierra Club survey on transportation modernization in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic that finds deep, bipartisan impatience with the status quo in 11 states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia—plus resounding interest in concrete regional approaches to dealing with...

Can We Stop Fake News?

The onslaught of bogus stories is just one symptom of American democracy in crisis as the Trump administration battles the news media with classic authoritarian disinformation tactics.

As technology giants and news media titans wrestle with fact-checking, algorithm-tweaking, and outright lies, Americans remain susceptible to a more pernicious threat: fake news. Fake news is just one tool in President Trump’s disinformation toolbox, one that administration officials wield, not only to discredit the news media, but also the judiciary, individual members of Congress, and the intelligence community. It’s a classic tactic that wannabe autocrats deploy to undermine democracy: consolidating power by sowing distrust in major institutions. Political commentators Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Yevgeniy Golovchenko, and Gianni Riotta took up the topic of fake news and authoritarianism at the 2018 Social Media Weekend in New York. Sree Sreenivasan, a former New York City chief digital officer, hosted the June 1–2 conference at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Ben-Ghiat is a New York University professor of history and Italian studies; Golovchenko is a University of...

Washington Metro Sinks into the Swamp in NHL Playoff Miscue

Transit officials in the nation’s capital did not have the money to keep the subway system open late for the Washington Capitals playoff game. But Qatar did.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
How desperate is the state of public transit this Infrastructure Week? So desperate that the Washington Metro Area Transportation Authority turned to a foreign government to secure the $100,000 it needed to keep Metrorail open late, so that hockey fans could get home from National Hockey League Eastern Conference Playoff Game 4 on Thursday at a downtown arena. Ponder that for a second: District of Columbia transit officials decided to rely on the government of Qatar’s munificent gesture. And recall that a Qatari government-affiliated company may bail President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his family out from under an onerous Manhattan office building mortgage; that Trump attorney Michael Cohen tried to woo Qatar as a client for his “consulting” services; and that Qatar has been embroiled in a long-running political crisis that resulted in a trade embargo against the country by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The Qatari...