Pancakes & Politics — Davis Community Discussion of the November Ballot for Non-Mimes

Pancakes & Politics is an informal Davis community discussion of every voting box on the November 4th ballot. If you are a mime, you are not trapped in a voting box, so don’t even try.

This time around, the gathering will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, October 19th, at the Cornucopia Corner COOP, 239 J Street, on the southwest corner of 3rd and J Streets. All are welcome . . . . . well . . . . . except people in heavy black and white makeup.

All the issues and offices on the upcoming ballot will be discussed, so that we may all vote smarter by having access to multiple brains; this, as opposed to the conflicting arguments in the voter guide and political ads. P&P is a chance to meet other local peoples who care about politics. P&P takes voting seriously, while also having a great deal of fun with it. Mimes are not fun.

Each person attending is responsible to research one ballot initiative or one office, or . . . not.  They (meaning …  perhaps …… you!) will prepare a verbal 3-5 minute ‘summary’ to share (a little longer for those offices with multiple candidates) — arguments on each side of the issue, or who the candidates are and what they have to say (weird or humorous findings are encouraged!).  After presenting both sides, tell us which way you’re leaning and why. Please do not mime your leaning or lean like a mime. The group then has 4-5 minutes to discusses the issue/office and present their views. Verbally.

P&P is also a vegetarian brunch potluck. Suggested items include pancake mix, eggs, biscuits, potatoes and fixinin’s such as salsa, cheese, and syrup, complementary side dishes, juices, coffee and tea. No air food.

We’ll start cooking pancakes at 10:00 a.m., eating in the 11:00 a.m. hour, and discussions begin at Noon. Come when you can. When we’re done around 3:00 p.m, you’ll be in the know about those weird little offices and issues you never have time to research. Flipping non-existent pages is not research . . . it’s not even entertaining.

For a list of issues/candidates and/or to SIGN UP for a random issue/office go to this Google Doc at:

Or better yet, contact April at:  and/or  (408) 482-2541

If you have knowledge of a particular issue or office, its first ask, first served.  We ask that folks volunteer to research one of the “random” or “unknown” issues or offices, as our goal is to have all informed about all.  The minor issues/offices are the ones oft forgotten — and that’s P&P’s strength.

P&P could also use help with timekeeping, setting up, childcare, cleaning up afterward (mimes are notoriously messy) – but if you aren’t volunteering you are still welcome to join us.

RESPECT:  This has traditionally been a meeting of ‘progressively-minded’ souls, but not exclusively.  Please be respectful of those with differing views and make them feel welcome.  We often learn more from those who disagree with our views than those that agree. (We learn little from mimes and need show them no respect.)

KIDS: Are welcome to hang out, but since only people over 18 vote, this event is inherently geared towards grown-up needs (including relative quiet for fast, in-depth discussions).  That said, kids often come, and surely it is good to expose them to the rigors of an informed democracy. People with wandering children are welcome to wander in and out according to little people needs. Mimes, on the other hand, are just child-ish.

SCRIBES / VOTER GUIDE:  Scribes are wanted to take notes on the proceedings to help create our quirky Voter Guide for web and/or (gasp!) printing.  The Voter Guide is a great resource to share with others, useful in swinging local elections, and to kill people with laughter. Volunteer note-takers, writers, editors, artists . . . all velcome. Bring a real pen or laptop; you cannot take notes with an imaginary pen.

MIMES: No mimes!

P&P is ORGANIZED (sort of) by:  Danielle Fodor, Alan C. MIller & April Kamen.  We’d like to thank Cornucopia Corner Housing Cooperative for the use of the common room and kitchen.

HELPFUL WEBSITES to research issues & candidates.  You are also welcome to get creative, talk to people, and use your own knowledge.


(From Smart Voter i.e. the amazing League of Women Voters)


(From Yolo County)

STATEWIDE OFFICES — (From the California Secretary of State)



Coverage of local issues and candidates, online voter forums

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Alan Miller

    I’m commenting to kick the article to the top of the page in comments!

    Hope y’all can join us Sunday!  Fun and informative.  All political bents except for the insane are welcome!

  2. Alan Miller

    It is only 20 days until the election, and only 13 days until the mail-in ballots are due.  Are you ready?  Do you know the issues?  The candidates?
    You could know a lot more on Sunday, and not have to worry about cramming ignorantly on election day — join us at Pancakes & Politics on Sunday!

  3. Alan Miller

    Please join us even if you haven’t chosen to research a topic.  We can still have a great discussion.

    When we reach items that haven’t been researched, we can do them on the fly.  Having more items researched in advance does help the meeting run a little smoother.  If you have a 1/2 hour, contact April (see article) and grab an obtuse ballot measure, or look into who’s running for chief dog catcher of Yolo.


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