Gabrielle Gurley

Gabrielle Gurley is The American Prospect’s deputy editor. Her email is ggurley@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Putting the Public First in Public-Private Partnerships

Public-sector competence is needed to make sure citizens get a good deal—and private vendors are no substitute for adequate public funding.

AP Photo/J Pat Carter
This article appears in the Spring 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . In a perfect world, a big-city mayor would not have to wrangle over how to finance a tunnel to the port. But Manny Diaz did not live in a perfect world: He lived in Miami. Port traffic clogging downtown was a decades-old problem. To realize his vision of a vibrant region showcased by a vital city center, Mayor Diaz had to get rumbling, port-bound 18-wheelers off downtown streets. In 2007, with a plan and money on the table, the Florida Department of Transportation turned up the heat on the term-limited mayor to deliver the tunnel. So Diaz devised a strategy to gin up city and surrounding county support: He tossed a baseball stadium, museums, more funds for a performing arts center—and the tunnel—into one civic wish-list basket and made a successful appeal to regional pride for funding them all. Meanwhile, two multinational firms, Meridiam, a public infrastructure investor, and...

Securing Cities from Cyber Attacks

Leaving information technology to the geeks is no longer an option for municipal leaders as malware attacks increase.

(Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Sipa USA AP Images)
Atlanta is a major cybersecurity hotspot. The city is home to the Georgia Institute of Technology, which houses nearly a dozen cybersecurity labs and centers and hundreds of scientists and researchers, and which regularly hosts cybersecurity conferences. Georgia has the country’s third-largest information-security sector with more than 115 firms bringing in nearly $5 billion in annual revenue, according to state data. Construction is underway in Augusta on the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, a statewide facility to “promote modernization in cybersecurity technology for both the private and public sectors.” The center won’t have to look far for its first case study after Atlanta failed to take full advantage of the rich technology ecosystem in its own backyard. In mid-March, a ransomware attack compromised nearly half of the city government’s departments. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the city’s municipal court system...

Northeast’s Gateway Tunnel Sideswiped by Republicans’ Omnibus Package

The Hudson Tunnel project is still shortchanged while rural areas manage to preserve services.

Presidents like big infrastructure projects. George Washington had a keen interest in improving travel on the Potomac River. Dwight Eisenhower believed that a modern interstate highway system was a national security priority. As secretary of commerce, Herbert Hoover spearheaded the construction of the Colorado River dam that bears his name. Donald Trump perhaps could have shed a smidgen of his pariah status in his native New York (a long-shot to be sure) had he moved forward with the construction of what promises to be an impressive engineering feat, a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River—something even his arch-nemesis Barack Obama couldn’t pull off. But Trump doesn’t do presidential legacy well. He repeatedly threatened to veto the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill Congress passed this week, since it did not include his pet legacy project: a multi-billion dollar Mexican border wall. In the end, he signed it. So the president’s Gateway grudge match against...

Congress Says WOOFF on Guns

Republicans prioritize dealing with airline employees’ poor judgment with pets over young people dying from gun violence.

On a day when American students and their supporters marched to demand stricter gun laws and to memorialize 17 people brutally killed at a Florida high school, the news broke that Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana intended to file an animal protection bill. The move came about 48 hours after the death of 10-month old puppy on a Houston to New York flight after United Airlines employees forced the owners to put the animal in overhead bin. I will be filing a bill tomorrow that will prohibit airlines from putting animals in overhead bins. Violators will face significant fines. Pets are family. — John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) March 14, 2018 His compassion for puppies is commendable. But Kennedy proposes to take zero action on the gun violence that kills schoolchildren. OK, people love puppies, and animal welfare is an important issue. Few owners want to consign an animal to an airplane cargo hold if they can avoid it: Passengers take small pets on planes so they can be...

Parkland Copycats Bide Their Time

Law enforcement officers thwarting school plots seize caches of weapons as the gun debate continues.

(Sarah Reingewirtz/The Orange County Register via AP)
In the wake of the Parkland massacre, amid the din of CNN town halls and CPAC chest-thumping, the copycats slink out. Every school shooting leads to an uptick in threats to schools. Police must investigate people who post photos of AR-15s with callous captions on social media, along with students who think threatening a massacre is funny. But there’s been little attention paid to the sum total of post-Parkdale disasters-in-the-making that have been prevented. Law enforcement officials responding to tips in multiple states have discovered caches of weapons in the homes of young men who have made threats against schools, some of them featuring the same AR-15 semi-automatics used in Parkland. Some of the incidents since the February 14 shootings: A Whittier, California, school resource deputy heard a 17-year-old student say that “the school will be shot up in three weeks.” When sheriffs raided the teen’s home , they found 90 high-capacity magazines, two handguns,...

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