Defend democracy in the South.

Sue Sturgis

Editorial Director

Sue joined the Institute in November 2005 as director of Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Independent Weekly in Durham, North Carolina, Sue directs and writes for the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. She was the first journalist to be awarded the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters' Catalyst Award for her commitment to educating the public about important environmental issues.

Sue has authored or co-authored numerous Institute reports, including "Life After BP" (2011), "Faith in the Gulf" (2008), "Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement" (2008) and "Blueprint for Gulf Renewal" (2007). Her work has also appeared in other publications including The American Prospect, The Progressive, and Salon. Sue holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's in social work from Penn State.

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Articles by Sue

How Mark Meadows' nonprofit benefited from Trump's 'Big Ripoff'

June 24, 2022 - The former North Carolina congressman and White House chief of staff, under investigation for registering to vote in three states, Meadows promoted lies about the 2020 presidential election that President Trump used to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters. Trump then gave a chunk of the money to the nonprofit Conservative Partnership Institute, where Meadows and other Trump loyalists work to lift up election deniers.

The politicians who stood with the NRA after the Uvalde massacre

June 3, 2022 - The recent National Rifle Association convention in Houston took place just days after a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in the Texas city of Uvalde. Some politicians scheduled to address the gathering canceled even before the shooting, some canceled afterwards — and some showed up anyway.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The corporate money backing 'great replacement' politicians

May 19, 2022 - The racist and antisemitic conspiracy theory that claims elites are trying to replace the current electorate with immigrants has been tied to numerous domestic U.S. terror attacks, including the recent massacre of Black people inside a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. We look at some of the elected officials who promote the idea — and the corporate contributions flowing to their campaigns.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Ending subminimum wages for workers with disabilities

May 13, 2022 - A number of states, including several in the South, are bucking the federal policy that allows companies to pay workers with certain disabilities less than the basic minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The Biden administration recently took an initial step to address that pay disparity for tens of thousands of disabled workers nationwide, while a bill to end the practice is stalled in Congress.

INSTITUTE INDEX: The election deniers running to oversee elections

April 22, 2022 - Scores of people who have publicly spread lies about the results of the 2020 presidential election are seeking to be governor, attorney, or secretary of state — offices that run, oversee, and protect elections. At least 19 of them are running in the seven Southern states holding elections for those offices this year.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Will Congress fairly tax the ultra-rich?

April 8, 2022 - The U.S. is home to over 730 billionaires, with over 140 living in Southern states. The new budget proposal from President Biden calls on Congress to pass what's being called a "Billionaire Minimum Income Tax" that would levy annual gains in stocks and other assets held by the richest .01% — assets that are not taxed at all now unless they're sold.