For Immediate Release

January 24, 2021

Press Contact

ICYMI: Senator Durbin Responds to Just Democracy’s Anti-Filibuster Times Square Billboard on Meet The Press 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Meet the Press today, Senator Dick Durbin told host Chuck Todd that, “The American people want us to take action. Action on the pandemic, action on this economy and a host of other issues. And if this filibuster has become so common in the Senate that we can’t act...shame on us. Of course we should consider a change in the rule under those circumstances.”

The comments came in response to a billboard from Just Democracy that will run in Times Square for a week starting tomorrow (January 25). The life-size ad, which calls on New York's Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to abolish the filibuster, features quotes from President Obama calling the filibuster a “Jim Crow relic,” from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating it has “outlived its usefulness,” and from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling the filibuster “a cherished tool of segregationists.” As the 116th Congress gets to work, Just Democracy created this New York ad to remind the new Senate Majority Leader that we cannot continue to allow the filibuster to block critical social justice and civil rights bills.

Stasha Rhodes, Campaign Director for 51 for 51 and member of the Just Democracy coalition commented:

“Democratic leaders should all understand that the filibuster was – and still is – a pillar of institutional racism in America. Republicans in the Senate Represent 40 million fewer American voters than Democrats, but under the current rules they can block the agenda that more than 80 million Americans voted for President Biden to enact. Black and Brown communities voted for an urgent rescue and a reshaping of our politics in the face of a raging pandemic, a deepening economic crisis and a Democracy under threat. Anything less than that will uphold the racist structures that have locked our communities out of this democracy. If that is allowed to happen, then I agree with Senator Durbin: shame on us.”


About Just Democracy

Just Democracy is an intersectional coalition with racial justice at its core — uplifting voices from all walks of American life that are too often left out of the conversation. The coalition is made up of over 40 Black and Brown-led organizations working across issue areas. It mobilizes thousands who know that advancing social and racial justice issues first requires bold structural democracy reform.

To speak with a Just Democracy spokesperson, please email

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