Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Boston’s Rendezvous with Climate Destiny

A coastal winter storm shows one of America’s oldest cities what sea-level rise really means.

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston last August, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh expressed his fear that his own city would have been “wiped out” by a comparable deluge. Scores of people would be rendered homeless, waterfront areas would be ravaged, the damage would run into the multi-billions. Several years earlier, the city dodged a bullet during Hurricane Sandy: Boston was spared the flooding that paralyzed Manhattan only because the storm hit Boston hours after high tide. If Bostonians were apprehensive after Harvey, they are even more nervous after the first blizzard of 2018. Residents were jolted out of complacency as climate change–fueled sea-level rise, cyclonic winds, and high tides produced a storm surge that sent the Atlantic Ocean flowing into Boston’s coastal neighborhoods. Look at this video outside our window of flooding in #Boston historic #FortPoint #Seaport neighborhood that is causing big dumpsters to float down the street. #blizzard2018 @CNN @WCVB...

Black Alabamians Voted For Themselves

African American men and women turned out in historic numbers to quash the nostalgia for slavery, segregation, and disenfranchisement by terrorism when blacks kept their backs bent and eyes down. 

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
What motivated African American men and women to vote on Tuesday in Alabama was not the Democratic Party’s plight or the fate of the republic. It wasn’t Cory Booker or Deval Patrick, or Charles Barkley. It was less about Donald Trump. Doug Jones’s role in bringing two Klansmen to justice, convicting them decades after they killed four little girls at a Birmingham house of worship gave him the credibility among black voters that a generic, good-government Democrat would not have had. But it was Roy Moore and his slavery good-times minstrel show that propelled black people to the polls. There were other tangible reasons to make the share of black votes actually higher than when Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2008 and 2012. On most election days, Americans go to the polls, cast their ballots, bid the poll workers bye-bye, and maybe grab a cookie if there’s a bake sale in the vicinity. In black Alabama, just wanting to vote, getting around the voting obstacles...

How Maine’s Medicaid Expansion Campaign Got to Yes

Frustration with the status quo and a powerful GOTV campaign helped produce the country’s first Medicaid expansion directly decreed by the voters.

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
Imagine that expanding Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands of people somehow meant that hunting and fishing licenses would be more expensive. Fearing a price hike, hunters and fishermen would surely surge to the polls in off-year election to vote no on a Medicaid expansion ballot question. Which is why one of the ads unleashed by opponents of Maine’s Medicaid expansion voter initiative made that very—and very ridiculous—claim. Maine’s Republican Governor, Paul LePage, pugnacious as usual, was the face of the anti-expansion campaign. He took to Maine’s influential talk radio programs to dial up his base, backed by a PAC called Welfare to Work launched by one of his former advisors in August to fight the Medicaid measure. The message? “Able-bodied people” looking “medical welfare” should get off their collective butts and get to work. Those scare tactics backfired. Mainers voted 59 percent to 41 percent to expand Medicaid, making...

Three Minutes with Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards

The women’s reproductive-rights leader shares some thoughts on President Trump and community activism.

(Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
With President Trump and the Republican Party determined to bulldoze over decades of women’s health-care gains, reproductive-rights advocates like Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, have been on the front lines of an all-consuming battle to beat back that onslaught. “If we had a majority of people in Congress who could get pregnant, we wouldn’t be fighting about birth control,” she told The American Prospect, underlining one of her signature phrases. “I look forward to that day.” After the 2016 election, Planned Parenthood and Richards (whom The American Prospect featured in a cover story last year) emerged as a kinetic force in the resistance movement. In tandem with dozens of other progressive organizations, Planned Parenthood has spearheaded get-out the-vote drives, town hall meetings on health-care policies, and immigrant-rights and racial-justice marches. The Prospect spoke to Richards before she and Danielle Henry, of the...

The Vietnam War: A Conversation with Ken Burns

America’s foremost documentary filmmakers lift the curtain on the country’s psychic wounds in this stunning new history of our most divisive conflict since the Civil War.

Courtesy of Larry Burrows/Getty Images
I n fall of 1967, the Vietnam War was unraveling. The Marines had been battling North Vietnamese Army troops from their hilltop outpost at Khe Sahn near the Demilitarized Zone since the spring. “ The true peace-keepers are those men who stand out there on the DMZ at this very hour, taking the worst that the enemy can give,” President Lyndon Johnson said in September speech in San Antonio. He was “ready to talk peace … tomorrow,” with Ho Chi Minh, North Vietnam’s nominal leader, Johnson said. Weeks later, little had changed and 50,000 antiwar protestors marched on the Pentagon. Half a world away in the DMZ, Roger Harris, a 19-year-old Marine Corps volunteer , tried to come to terms with the killing, the dying, and the unspeakable atrocities. In The Vietnam War , he recalls that his fellow soldiers told him: “this is war; this is what we do.” The Vietnam War is the product of a more than decade of work by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick who...