Saturday had brought another rally for voting rights, so Jacqueline Gallagher dressed in a red blazer that matched her walker, roused her third-floor neighbor and paid a taxi $30 to drive them from their Chevy Chase retirement home to the Robert A. Taft Memorial.

The 85-year-old likes to call herself “the little old lady in tennis shoes who goes to protests.”

Gallagher would rather spend her weekends visiting the National Gallery of Art — but these days, she said, it feels more urgent to get Congress to pass an extensive voting rights measure, along with D.C. statehood.

“I don’t mind paying taxes,” she said. “I just want a say in how they’re being spent.”

All summer, thousands of people like her had marched and rallied to support two federal bills, among other things. They wanted to see the passage of the Freedom to Vote Act, which would override state-level voting restrictions, make Election Day a holiday and allow same-day voter registration, as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore voting rights protections.

But on Wednesday, Senate Republicans had filibustered the Freedom to Vote Act, stalling the bill from moving forward. Once she saw the news, Gallagher knew she’d have to spend another Saturday protesting. And so she buckled on her black leather sneakers and pinned a “51” button on her lapel.

The rally was celebrating the end of a 70-mile relay that traced the C&O Canal path in West Virginia — the home state of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D), who had helped craft a compromise bill — to the U.S. Capitol. Organizers had created a finish line for marchers to cross near the U.S. Capitol.

Gallagher joined the throngs of about 400 participants, who were ringed around a small stage that had been erected on the lawn. Volunteers handed out yellow T-shirts and paper signs, one of which Gallagher taped to the front of her walker. Some of the posters read, “Don’t Texas My Vote” and “DC Statehood.”

Nearby, Deborah Lennon, who had traveled to D.C. from Newport, R.I., talked with a friend about what it would take to get rid of the filibuster. She’s been protesting a lot lately, trying to move things in a positive direction.

“It’s sad at my age to have to be doing this,” Lennon, 66, said. “I cannot believe what’s happening in my country. We are not going to go quietly.”

They walked past Gallagher, who was slowly flipping her walker around so she could perch on its small seat. Once she was settled, her neighbor, Donald Robinson, 83, handed her a sign to hold. He had four voting rights buttons pinned to the front of his fleece jacket.

They live a few doors down from each other in the retirement home and also attend All Souls Church Unitarian together. They care about the same issues, too.

“Jacqueline was talking about voting rights, but I’ve already been fighting for representation in Congress for years,” Robinson said. “We’re not going to stop fighting until we have the rights we deserve.”

Robinson and Gallagher listened as the speakers talked about how new laws in dozens of states would make it harder to vote and how they needed to text and tweet at their elected officials.

Every 15 minutes, the bell of the Taft Memorial chimed, interrupting whoever was at the lectern.

They clapped as Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights leader, spoke, along with his wife, Arndrea Waters King, and their 13-year-old daughter, Yolanda, who proclaimed that her generation would be the “great generation” — the one to actually make change happen.

Two joggers ran past, ponytails swinging. A woman sat on the sidewalk with a toddler in a rainbow-print jacket wrapped in her arms, listening.

Organizers urged them to not give in and to not give up.

Gallagher lifted her sign into the air and cheered.