Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Atlantic City: The Fall of the Boardwalk Empire

Gambling as an engine of economic development turned out to be a bad wager, and the famed New Jersey city is paying the price.

(Photo: AP/Wayne Parry)
(Photo: AP/Wayne Parry) A boat sails past the Atlantic City casino zone on February 12, 2016. F our decades ago, Atlantic City rolled the dice on the city’s future—and lost. In 1976, visions of dollars sloshing into municipal and state coffers lured New Jersey voters into establishing casino gambling into Atlantic City. It was the ultimate Faustian bargain: Gambling industry investments would save the fading grand dame of the Jersey Shore. What could go wrong? In fact, everything. Atlantic City ushered in the era of “gaming,” as the industry likes to call it, on the East Coast—but today, city and state officials are bickering over last-ditch proposals to pull the city back from the precipice of bankruptcy. Atlantic City made a bad bet, yoking its economic aspirations to a single industry in a market that has since become saturated with casinos all up and down the East Coast. The empty casino buildings along the city’s fabled boardwalk stand as grim totems to the perils of seizing on...

A Tale of Two Subway Systems

Washington Metro riders might complain about their subway system, but it could be worse—just look at Boston.

(Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)
(Photo: AP/Alex Brandon) Riders sit in a train in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station on March 15, 2016, the day before a one-day system-wide shutdown. K vetching about the decline of Metrorail is a popular pastime in Washington, D.C. But area residents may elevate complaining to an art form if Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials decide to close off entire lines or sections of the region’s subway system for weeks or months at time—something they said was a real possibility earlier this week. Yet if Washington riders want to experience how bad commuting can get when a transit agency fails to properly maintain its transportation assets, they can head to the other end of the Northeast Corridor for a preview of coming attractions: Without drastically accelerated repairs, Washington, D.C., will soon have a subway system like Boston’s. The Metro announcement comes less than two weeks after WMATA General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld ordered an unprecedented...

Cities Still In Search of Solutions

We need to reignite the debate over the future of urban America.  

AP Photo/Eric Gay
AP Photo/Eric Gay Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, left, during a campaign event, Thursday, October 15, 2015, in San Antonio. A New York Times 2008 editorial, “In Search of A Real Urban Policy” declared that, “For more than a generation, presidential aspirants have mostly resisted acknowledging the importance of the cities’ well being. Voters deserve to hear a lot more from the presidential candidates—in position papers, public speeches and debates—about how they intend to help the cities.” The Times cited urban issues like New York City graduation rates, the Katrina debacle, and like the Minneapolis bridge collapse as worrying issues on the urban landscape. The 2008 Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had “pieces of an urban agenda” while Senator John McCain, the major Republican contender, didn’t have much to offer. Nearly decade later, the issues facing American...

Transit Safety Shuffle in the Nation’s Capital

Unless the federal government can exercise proper authority over D.C.'s ailing transit system, dangerous accidents may continue to occur. 

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon Metro trains arrive in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in Washington. The head of the rail system that serves the nation's capital and its Virginia and Maryland suburbs says the system will shut down for a full day Wednesday after a fire near one of the system's tunnels. T he entire Washington, D.C., subway system shut down for an emergency safety inspection for 29 hours last week, forcing thousands of District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia residents to find other ways to navigate the region. The Federal Transit Administration is the lead agency in charge of safety oversight on the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, the only local agency in the United States that the FTA oversees. With the FTA (which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) charged with oversight for the system, you would think that federal officials were on the scene as their WMATA counterparts the inspected the subway. You would be wrong...

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