On First Amendment Field, members of the Millennial Advocacy Council PAC (MAC PAC) held a rally just hours before the vice presidential debate. MAC PAC leaders, along with Virginia State Senator Tom Garrett, spoke to a crowd of around 50 people about political issues and engagement among millennials.
Focusing on issues such as tuition increases and escalating student debt, MAC PAC council members called for young people to take action.
“We’re dying, our freedom and self-determination is disappearing … If we’re going to save ourselves, we’re going to have to suck it up and do it,” said Elliott Harding, chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee, who believed the national debt facing millennials is “the greatest sin” in America since slavery.
Choosing not to speak from the stage, Garrett addressed the group directly in front, stating that citizens must take control of their futures, rather than depending on politicians.
Although he acknowledged the significance of the vice presidential debate in nearby Willett Hall, he said, “Here is where stuff starts to change.” Then, he added, “They (politicians) are buying votes, and it’s not with their own money.”
Garrett alluded to the action taken by Barbara Rose Johns in Farmville's civil rights struggle in 1951, and urged students to follow her example in taking on the social and economic disparities between their generation and others.
“You have the power, but you don’t have your rights until you assert those rights … We can bring power back down to the people, and it won’t happen until your generation acts.”