Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

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
AP Photo/Matt Rourke Mayor Jim Kenney signs into law a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages at City Hall in Philadelphia, Monday, June 20, 2016. The tax will be levied on distributors and is set to take effect January 1, 2017. “ 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...

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
AP Photo/David Goldman Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, left, and Police Chief John Mina lay flowers at a makeshift memorial to those killed in the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, Monday, June 13, 2016, in Orlando, Florida. I n 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...

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
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks as Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton listens during their news conference in the Cannon House Office Building on Monday, May 9, 2016, to discuss efforts "to protect D.C.'s local laws during the upcoming fiscal year 2017 appropriations process." N ext 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...

First Flint –- Now Philly?

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

AP Photo/Matt Rourke
AP Photo/Matt Rourke Construction workers dig during a sewer and water line project Thursday, July 3, 2014, in Philadelphia. I n 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...

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)
(Photo: AP/Connecticut Post/Autumn Driscoll) Dirt bike riders cruise illegally on a city street in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in November 2014. W hen 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...