For some people, professing their political allegiance with a lawn sign just isn’t enough. A man in Castro Valley painted his roof with the Bernie Sanders campaign logo.
“It’s bold and it’s big. It gets people’s attention. It gets people to talk and think and go home and go, ‘Why did he do that?’” said Daren Wilkerson, a high school English teacher, as he touched up the baby blue and red paint on his roof on Monday.
Wilkerson said he got the idea after he saw photos of other Sanders supporters painting fences, roofs and walls online.
He and his wife, Sarah Wilkerson, a speech pathologist, had discussed it before he took paint to the roof. She’s also a strong Sanders supporter. But she was surprised all the same when she got home to find him on the roof with rollers and buckets last week.
“There’s never a dull moment with Daren, that’s for sure” she said. “I was like, ‘OK, we’ve got Bernie on the roof now. This is happening!’ I think I would’ve been a lot more upset if we weren’t getting a new roof in the near future.”
But the Wilkersons won’t break ground on the planned addition to their home until after the presidential election in the fall. So Bernie is there to stay.
The neighbors don’t seem to mind. In fact, Daren Wilkerson says many of his neighbors honk and wave, which he interprets as a sign of support, if not for his candidate, at least for his right to get involved in the campaign and express his political perspective.
“My friend who lives down the street who wants to vote for Trump thinks I’m crazy. I think he’s crazy,” he said with a shrug.
He warned his elderly neighbors across the street before he started the paint job. Jackie Powers, 82, supports Hillary Clinton and her husband Dick does too.
“If he’s enthused about Bernie, if that’s what he likes, that’s OK with me. I don’t care. ‘Cause I know it won’t be there by the end of the year,” she said. “I don’t know much about Bernie Sanders. I think Hillary’s on the ball.”
That was Wilkerson’s cue to begin his campaign pitch, with his 21-month-old daughter Marlo perched on his arm.
“You should find out more about Bernie,” he said. His rooftop campaign sign was working just as he had hoped, sparking a dialogue.
“Also, it’s a fun project. It’s not every day that you get to paint your roof – something wild, something bold,” he said.