Saturday, May 30, 2009

If you've been wondering . . .

Some of my regular readers may be wondering why there's been such a dearth of posts lately.

(Or maybe nobody's even noticed. Who knows?)

In any event, much of my time has been taken up lately with secular pursuits. Oh, I'm still the interim priest at a marvellous revitalizing parish, and today I had the honour of speaking to graduates of a local high school.

But the largest call on my time the last couple of months has been working for a client who is seeking the leadership of the New Democratic Party in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Ryan Meili is an impressive character. At 34 years old, he already has a list of impressive accomplishments.
  • At 24, he and a friend created Limbs and Light for Latin America. They raised funds to buy a bus and fill it with prosthetic limbs, then drove down to assist Nicaraguans who had been victims of landmines as a result of the Contra terrorist campaign.
  • While in medical school, he helped found Health Professionals for Medicare to help defend our system of universal, single-payer health insurance.
  • While doing all this, he still managed to graduate from medical school, earning an award for the highest standing in his family medicine clerkship.
  • He serves on the board of Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
  • He was one of th driving forces in the establishment of SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health), a student-run, multidisciplinary inner-city clinic, where he was the first coordinator and where he still works as a supervising doctor.
  • He is Chair of the Social Accountability Committee at the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine.
  • He coordinates the College of Medicine's Making the Links program, where students learn about the social determinants of health by working in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Saskatoon (and eventually Regina), isolated communities in northern Saskatchewan and even in Mozambique.
  • He has been awarded a Saskatchewan Health Care Excellence Award (2006) and was honoured as Saskatoon's Global Citizen of the Year (2007).

Not bad for just 34.

It's been an exciting campaign so far, and the effort culminates with the leadership convention on June 6.

One of our more obscure achievements was the discovery that we are apparently the first political campaign in Canada to use the internet money bomb approach created by supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and perfected by the Barack Obama campaign. The Ryan Meili Money Bomb, which asked supporters to donate $34 (did I mention the candidate is 34?) has already surpassed it's $10,000 goal and continues to climb. (Note, there is no restriction on who can donate, should anyone feel inspired - although there is a single donor maximum of C$5,000.)

We are also the only campaign to use viral video - and a certain simple massing priest makes a brief appearance in the Party Renewal video. (The embedded version below loses about 1/4 of the screen from the right. Double click on the video or use the link the get the full version.)

So, that's what I've been up do. How are the rest of you?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A most important matter

You must all go over to my daughter's blog to see pictures of my impending grandson.