Outspoken Texas Democrat and luminary former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is leading a four-day, 1960s-era march from Georgetown to the Texas Capitol in an effort to champion voting rights.
O’Rourke and his voter outreach organization Powered by People are partnering with Reverend William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign to host what is being called a Selma-to-Montgomery-style Texas march that kicks off north of Austin in Georgetown on Wednesday, July 28 and culminates Saturday, July 31 at the Texas Capitol in Austin in a 10,000-person rally — all in the name of defending democracy and voting rights.
Dubbed the Moral March for Democracy, the event — which takes place as the U.S. Senate pores over voting-rights legislation — aims to echo the famed 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, that advocated for federal voting-rights laws.
Alongside clergy members, activists, and Texans gathered from across the state, O’Rourke and Barber kicked off the march on an ominous tone at the Georgetown site where Texans successfully began to beat back the KKK in 1923.
Along the nearly 30-mile trek, the marching group will make several stops at area churches and religious centers (Good Hope Baptist Church in Round Rock, North Austin Muslim Community Center, University Baptist Church), eventually marching up the steps of the Capitol at 10 am Saturday, July 31.
“We need to bring greater attention and urgency to this fight to pass the For the People Act, which is the major voting-rights legislation before the U.S. Senate,” O’Rourke recently told the Austin Chronicle, referring to the bill that would, among other things, expand voting rights and reduce the influence of so-called big money in politics.