Moral March for Democracy Enlists Willie Nelson, Luci Baines Johnson for Voting Rights Rally

27-mile march concludes at Texas State Capitol on Saturday

Willie Nelson in 2019 (photo by Jana Birchum)

Country music legend Willie Nelson will perform and Texas political legacy Luci Baines Johnson will speak at the Texas State Capitol tomorrow, July 31, during a rally for voting rights. Both join the Moral March for Democracy event, beginning on the south steps of the Capitol at 10am.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, the organizing Poor People’s Campaign announced Johnson’s appearance, citing her voting rights advocacy as the daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who signed the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The livestreamed conference featured civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressman Beto O’Rourke, and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II – all of whom will also participate in Saturday’s rally. The event concludes a four-day, 27-mile effort protesting legislative attempts to suppress voting rights in Texas. That march, inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, launched Wednesday morning in Georgetown; supporters include O’Rourke’s voter outreach group Powered by People and national voting rights org Black Voters Matter. (See Mike Clark-Madison’s dispatch, “Marching for Democracy, From Georgetown to Austin,” in this week’s issue.)

Known for combining music and activism, Nelson issued a statement of support:

“It is important that we ensure the right for EVERY American to vote and vote safely. Laws making it more difficult for people to vote are UnAmerican & are intended to punish poor people, people of color, the elderly & disabled…why? If you can’t win playing by the rules, then it’s you & your platform -- not everyone else’s ability to vote.”

The rally marks Nelson’s first large-scale public appearance since the onset of the pandemic, following a series of smaller shows at his Spicewood Luck Ranch earlier this month.

On Saturday, marchers will gather outside the Texas AFL-CIO building (1106 Lavaca Street) at 8am before heading to the Capitol at 9am for the 10am rally and performances. Find more information and RSVP at

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Rachel Rascoe
What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Nakia, Sun June, Norman BA$E, Good Looks, 8½ Souvenirs, and more local sounds worth seeking out

Jan. 28, 2022

Sound & Color: Four Visual Depictions of Austin's Musical Identity
Sound & Color: Four Visual Depictions of Austin's Musical Identity
A whole palette of music-related art happenings of late, from a new Daniel Johnston mural to Bob Dylan's depiction of the Hole in the Wall

Jan. 28, 2022


Willie Nelson, Poor People’s Campaign, Moral March for Democracy, voting rights

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle