Two members of the political student group Sincerely, America received citations from Evanston police officers Tuesday night as they painted a half-mile long orange stripe on the sidewalk along the east side of Sheridan Road.
SESP senior Alessio Manti and Weinberg sophomore Andrew Walker, two of the co-founders of Sincerely, America, began painting a line down the center of the Sheridan Road east sidewalk Tuesday night as a form of political expression and in order to promote the group’s website.
Sincerely, America, which held its first event in October, is collecting online signatures to petition for an end to the so-called “Brothel Law,” the Evanston zoning ordinance that prohibits more than three unrelated people from living together.
Volunteers from the group wrote “Save the Brothels,” “Get engaged” and the site’s name in purple. Both the orange and purple paints are water-soluble, Manti said.
“Just as the line runs down the middle (of the sidewalk), our organization is in the middle: We don’t represent either political party,” said group member Alicia White, a Weinberg junior. “There are few student organizations that are nonpartisan or multi-partisan, no forums for students of all political stupid.”
The group will try other forms of marketing in the future, Manti said. Each of the 17 members of the organization participated in an “Internet bomb” on Facebook on Sunday by posting two statuses and writing something about either the group or general politics to 20 friends’ walls.
He said the group plans to expand and solidify its presence at Northwestern for the next two months before adding about 10 chapters at other schools in the spring and then significantly expanding in the fall. Sincerely, America aims to use the national election in the fall of 2012 as an anchor for its expansion.
Manti said he looks back at the election of 2008 and the youth-driven election of President Barack Obama as a starting point for this generation’s political involvement but said young adults must not rally around one individual.
“We saw in 2008 that our generation has the capacity to care a great deal,” he said. “Unfortunately, what was inspiring that was one man. It came from outside us. We want to make that happen again in 2012, but with the inspiration coming from out.”