Gabrielle Gurley

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

Recent Articles

Amazon Cashes Out

Faced with a nationwide backlash, the world’s largest online retailer pulls back its plan for cashless stores. For now.

Elaine Thompson/AP Photo
Responding to a rising tide of big-city opposition, Amazon announced on Wednesday that it would accept cash (or as the company calls it, “additional payment mechanisms”) at its Amazon Go convenience stores. In March, Philadelphia banned cashless stores, becoming the first U.S. city to reject the burgeoning trend. City officials argued that the stores put unbanked low-income, immigrant, and minority consumers at a major disadvantage. Poised to be a major beneficiary of the model, Amazon tried to muscle out an exemption for its high-end Amazon Go cashless convenience stores. Instead, Philly defied Amazon, the second major metro to do so after New York shocked the country in February by forcing out the company after the city had earned the dubious honor of being selected as one of the sites for Amazon’s second headquarters. Now, New York is poised to join the anti-cashless revolt, too, along with San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. New Jersey has already ruled...

Do All Roads Lead to Congestion Pricing?

Portland, Oregon, and New York are taking different routes to charging drivers who need to get downtown during the rush hour. They’ll also have to think hard about the impacts on low-income residents.

This article is a preview of the Spring 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . On Monday, New York state legislative leaders effectively agreed that congestion pricing is only way to solve the New York City transit crisis. The plan, likely to be the first of its kind in the country, would charge drivers a fee to access Midtown Manhattan and funnel billions into a massive effort to overhaul 115-year-old New York City subway system, improve bus service, and provide other long-over due upgrades. With an April 1 deadline to deliver a plan that can be incorporated into the state budget, state lawmakers will have to move quickly to resolve outstanding questions about specific rates and possible exemptions and discounts—issues which for the moment remain murky. This article considers the challenges congestion pricing poses for Portland and New York. screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Portland, Oregon, should be a prime candidate for congestion pricing. The...

The Hudson River Rail Tunnel Gets Boost From Congress but Problems Loom

Preoccupied with his border wall, Trump has little to say about newly authorized funding—and he’s still sitting on last year’s money.

AP Photo/Mel Evans, File A view of the train tunnel under the Hudson River as seen from the back of an Amtrak train bound for New York's Penn Station. screen_shot_2017-07-19_at_4.28.52_pm.png Little noticed in the maelstrom over the shutdown-averting deal and the president’s border wall emergency declaration was some good news for New Jersey and New York. Among the appropriations that kept the government running was $650 million for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the busiest and most profitable segment of the national rail network. Portions of that funding will go to the $30 billion Gateway Program to revitalize crumbling rail connections between New York and New Jersey, some of them more than a century old. Yet despite the signed, sealed and delivered deal, the Trump administration continues to resort to Nixonian tactics to block Gateway funds and delay replacing the Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel. Department of Transportation officials manage to do Trump’s bidding on...

Markey and Ocasio-Cortez Team Up on Green New Deal

Can an intergenerational alliance solidify a Democratic consensus on climate?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the brightest star in the Democratic firmament, came to Washington championing fast and bold solutions for climate change. She wanted to see more “environmental hardliners” on the job in Congress. Now the New York Democrat is in a prime spot to steer a Green New Deal. On Wednesday, Axios reported that Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat, have joined forces to lay the groundwork for legislation to jumpstart a transition from a fossil-fuel dependent economy to one that relies on renewable energy sources like wind and solar to stave off the most pernicious effects of climate change. A Green New Deal would likely also have strong economic and environmental justice components to help at-risk communities navigate the transition. The legislation could be unveiled as early as next week. Republican control of the White House and the Senate means the chances of passing in the 116th Congress this transformative...

Steve King’s Bridge Too Far?

The outrage that greeted the Iowa Republican’s latest transgression means little so long as the GOP continues to let Donald Trump off the hook. 

Representative Steve King’s dog-paddling through the cesspool of white supremacy is winding down. The racist inanities that the Iowa Republican spewed to The New York Times are actually among the tamer comments from a man who not so long ago invited a cable television panel to consider what people who were not white had contributed to civilization. Deciding that his latest foray into the etymology of “white nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization”is untenable, House Republican leaders have moved to save their colleague from a harder fall. To that end, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a coup de grace of sorts, stripping King of his committee assignments and—so far—staving off a censure motion from Democrats. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Liz Cheney, and Mitt Romney served up lukewarm bromides of condemnation from afar. In a sense, King paved the way for Donald Trump, thereby helping install an avatar of...