The recently formed Williams College Democrats traveled to Boston Saturday to rally for incumbent Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Coordinating with the Patrick campaign, Peter Skipper ’13 – current president and founder of the Williams College Democrats – organized 54 politically active students to lend their support to Patrick. The club also supported a voter registration drive during the week of Oct. 4 through Oct. 8 in Paresky, during which over 40 students registered to vote. The group attended the rally to encourage youth activism in politics.
According to Skipper, he and Tyler Holden ’13, the group’s vice president, founded the political organization because “there seems to be a lot of political apathy on campus.”
“It’s important to have a group like the College Democrats that can coordinate with organizations to find ways for students to get involved,” Skipper continued. Having worked with the Patrick campaign over the summer, Skipper was contacted by the campaign to organize a group of students to attend the rally as one of the club’s first major events.
Students who went expressed a desire to become more politically active.
“I began to realize that the ignorance of Americans negatively affects the lives of the American people,” Amina Avril ’14 said. “I [attended the rally because I] wanted to learn more about Governor Patrick and President Obama’s support for him.”
The Patrick rally was headlined by President Barack Obama and included a performance by James Taylor and addresses by Senator John Kerry and the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s wife, Vicki Kennedy.
The event drew thousands of enthusiastic supporters to the Hynes Convention Center and encouraged an exuberant reaction to Patrick’s platform of continuing his policies in education reform and promoting economic recovery. Patrick’s remarks tied his platform to an ideological political message.
“I won’t be satisfied until we bear our generational responsibility, our responsibility to leave this place better than we found it, to lift one another up instead of tearing everybody down,” Patrick said. “And let me tell you, you shouldn’t be satisfied either. That’s the choice. That’s the choice we have in this election.”
President Obama echoed the incumbent governor’s sentiment:
“You didn’t elect [Governor Patrick] to do what was easy; you elected him to do what was right,” the president said. “If you have that spirit, you will re-elect Deval Patrick, and all of us together will rebuild the middle class and restore the American dream.”
The Williams College Democrats will be active in canvassing for Governor Patrick in North Adams and Williamstown, holding phone banks, and helping with “Get Out the Vote” efforts on Nov. 2.
“The governor’s race here in Massachusetts is extremely close,” Skipper said, “and our state simply cannot afford to lose Deval Patrick.”