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

INSTITUTE INDEX: Countering the cruel politics of anti-transgender bills

March 7, 2022 - As trans youth face a crisis of harassment, violence, and trauma, Republican politicians up for reelection in Texas and other states are launching misleading attacks on them and their families in a blatant attempt to stir up the party's base and win votes. Legal and human rights advocates and the Biden administration are taking steps to protect the lives of these vulnerable young Americans as others press for boycotts.

INSTITUTE INDEX: A chance to revive the poverty-busting expanded child tax credit?

February 4, 2022 - The expanded child tax credit lifted millions of children out of poverty but expired because the closely divided U.S. Senate failed to renew it as part of the Build Back Better Act, which was opposed by Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As talks continue, Manchin has signaled he might be open to renewing the expanded credit with more limited eligibility and a work requirement, but anti-poverty advocates oppose those conditions.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Rick Perry's oily plans for an authoritarian America

January 6, 2022 - A text sent to the Trump White House the day after the 2020 election outlining a strategy to have the Supreme Court decide the outcome of the presidential race reportedly came from the phone of former Energy Secretary and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Championing the election's overthrow didn't dim Perry's job prospects, though: He resigned his Trump administration post that December and the following month became a director for the general partner of Energy Transfer, the Dallas-based pipeline company led by billionaire Trump backer and longtime Perry associate Kelcy Warren, whose interests Perry profitably championed in Washington.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Why the DOJ sued Texas over its new voting maps

December 10, 2021 - In its first lawsuit to come out of the latest round of redistricting, the U.S. Department of Justice has taken aim at Texas, arguing that the GOP legislature's new election district maps violate the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against voters by race or color. We look at some of the numbers cited in the lawsuit, which faces an uphill fight in the new legal landscape created by the Supreme Court's 2013 decision gutting the landmark civil rights-era law.

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Build Back Better would transform dirty rural electric systems

December 1, 2021 - Born of the New Deal's anti-poverty initiatives, rural electric cooperatives today serve 42 million Americans, most in the South, Midwest, and Great Plains. They still depend heavily on coal, but the $1.8 trillion spending bill passed by the House has a provision giving billions of dollars to speed their transition to renewables. Will it survive corporate Democrats' obstructionism in the Senate?