Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democratic Congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks as now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer listens during a press conference in the Corona neighborhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City

Democratic Congresswoman from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks as now Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer listens during a press conference in the Corona neighborhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Johannes Eisele / AFP via Getty Images)

'Jim Crow Relic': Progressives Ramp Up Efforts to Finally Get Rid of Filibuster

 On the Filibuster: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "A Cherished Tool of Segregationists"; former President Barack Obama: "Jim Crow Relic"; and ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "Outlived Its Usefulness."

Common Dreams staff

A coalition of more than 40 progressive groups—Just Democracy—is ramping up the pressure on Majority Leader Chuck Schumer by running a digital billboard in New York's Times Square—the heart of Schumer's district—urging him to end the Senate filibuster. The filibuster rule requires most legislation to reach 60 votes to pass in the Senate.

The coalition—made up of over 40 grassroots civil rights and social justice groups from around the country—created and paid for the week-long billboard starting Monday.

Just Democracy tweeted Sunday that the billboard was previewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" earlier in the day:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the majority whip, said on "Meet the Press" that "the American people want us to take action, action on this pandemic, action on this economy and on a host of other issues, and if this filibuster has become so common in the Senate that we can't act, that we just sit there helpless, shame on us. Of course we should consider a change in the rule under those circumstances."

The Just Democracy ad quotes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "A Cherished Tool of Segragationists"; former President Barack Obama: "Jim Crow Relic"; and ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "Outlived Its Usefulness." Ocasio-Cortez is reportedly considering a challenge to Schumer for his Senate seat in 2022.

“Democrats gained control of the Senate because of Black and Brown organizers and voters," Stasha Rhodes, campaign director for 51 for 51 and a member of the Just Democracy coalition, said in a statement. "Now they have a chance to remove the biggest impediment to the legislation those voters care about most — voting rights, healthcare, a serious COVID rescue package and more."

Meanwhile, another progressive/labor coalition—Fix Our Senate—ran a full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times that also pushed Schumer to end the filibuster. “There is absolutely no reason to give Sen. McConnell months and months to prove what we absolutely know — that he is going to continue his gridlock and dysfunction from the minority,” said Eli Zupnick, a spokesman for Fix Our Senate. The group has launched a six-figure ad campaign and plans to deploy field staff in states where Democratic senators have expressed reluctance to ditch the rule.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'You Tell Me What We Should Cut': Sanders Not Budging on $3.5 Trillion

"Poll after poll tells me, and tells you, that what we are trying to do is enormously popular."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Set to Admit Even Fewer Refugees Than Trump's Record Low

The "paltry" number of those admitted so far would be well below the 62,500 ceiling President Joe Biden had set for the current fiscal year.

Andrea Germanos ·


In 'Landmark' Decision, EPA Finalizes Rule Cutting Use of Super-Pollutant HFCs

The regulation will drastically curb the use of "the most potent super-pollutants known to mankind at the moment," one climate campaigner said.

Julia Conley ·


Biden's Envoy to Haiti Resigns in Protest Over 'Inhumane' Deportations

The Biden administration's move to ramp up deportations at a time of overlapping crises will "add to Haiti's unacceptable misery," wrote Daniel Foote.

Kenny Stancil ·


Pfizer CEO—Biden's 'Good Friend'—Is Privately Working to Tank Drug Price Reforms

Pfizer's chief executive Albert Bourla is reportedly urging his employees to fight Democrats' plan to let Medicare directly negotiate drug prices.

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo