Canal

Song entry for 2011 Ottawa International Writers Festival contest

I wrote the above song in October 2011 for a songwriting contest CBC Radio’s Ottawa show All In A Day was having. This was the call:

The Alan Neal “Be in the Song Circle” Contest: Imagine a stage filled with Emm Gryner! Matt Barber! Louise Burns! Ann Vriend! And… you? On Friday, Oct. 21, Alan Neal, host of All In A Day, will be hosting a songwriters circle at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. And not only will Emm, Matt, Louise and Ann all be part of it… You could be too, if you can write a 2.5 minute song and perform it.

But not just ANY song…Each of the songwriters has given Alan a word you have to work into the song. You can go to www.cbc.ca/allinaday to get all the words & Contest details. You have to write your song and send it in to Alan by next Friday, Oct. 14 by 6 p.m. You can email lyrics in to mailto:allinaday@cbc.ca, where you can also send an mp3, or call it in to their listener line: 613-288-6519. But you only have until October 14th to do it!

We had to include the words rapscallion, aye-aye, by/buy/bye, and light. Around that time, I was running for MPP, and had been Skyping with a fellow first time Green Party candidate, Taylor Howarth. I told her about the contest. Or maybe she told ME about it? In any case, here’s her song: http://www.taylorhowarth.com/beautiful-you/

Song contest for Ottawa International Writers Festival

Love song to win back girl

A few years ago, I was desperate to win back a girlfriend I had let go. So I wrote a song, specifically about all the reasons I liked her – I even used her name in it, in a rhyme, so that it was integral – and emailed it to her. She didn’t take me back right away, but it got us talking a bit. And eventually I won her back. Until I let her go again. But at least I have the song to remember her by.

Here’s the song: 

And here’s the email I sent with the song:

This is the email I sent to Jenn with a song to try to win her back.
This is the email I sent to Jenn with a song to try to win her back.
Jenn's reply to my song
This is Jenn’s reply. And then my reply to her. Which was a dumb reply of mine, because it showed her I was still afraid of commitment.

I was the voice of H&R Block this tax season

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 8.39.03 PM

Did you get a better tax refund than usual this season? It might be because of the helpful tax tips videos H&R Block posted online. And the helpful and friendly voiceover was performed by yours truly. So, really, you should be sending me part of your tax refund as thanks. You don’t have to, of course. But it would help fund my voice acting career, which could lead to more helpful tips for you, which would make you more money. Just sayin’.

Talking about my Green campaign on Humble & Fred Radio

My good friends at Humble & Fred Radio were kind enough to invite me onto their show the day before election day, to talk about my campaign running for MPP in St. Paul’s riding with the Green Party of Ontario. They’re usually a bit – ok, a lot – conservative politically, especially Fred, so I was a bit scared of going on to talk politics. But I was surprised and delighted that Fred revealed he was actually considering voting Green thanks to our plan to merge the public and Catholic school boards to save money and end discrimination. Then, as usual when I’m on the show, the talk moved on to my dating life and my famous hummus story from a year ago. Never a dull moment on that show, even when talking politics!

My call starts around 1:30:45 into the show, which you can hear here.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-18-at-2.44.06-PM

I doubled the Green vote in the riding

(NOTE: This is a post from June 18th that I originally posted at a new site that was being built for me. But that site doesn’t work, so I’m posting here just so the post still exists.)

cbc vote tally

I want to say thanks to everyone for your love and support during my run for MPP with the Green Party of Ontario. Thanks to that support and despite the minimal resources available to us, and with me running in this riding for the first time, we actually increased the St Paul’s riding’s Green vote percentage from 2.73% in 2011 to 5.08%, as you can see in this CBC tally. From 1,172 votes in the riding in 2011, to 2,556 this time. Not a bad job in a very affluent and highly-educated riding that this Toronto Star article about the riding’s vote says is the safest Liberal riding there is. I know that many of those 2,556 votes were from my Facebook friends and other friends, and I appreciate every single vote. But best of all, we got a Green message out there, and hopefully it will influence the people in power. And now that I’ve had a few days to rest the voice that I lost due to some virus on election night, literally minutes after my last campaign duty of meeting with the Grade 5 class… It’s time to stop being nostalgic and get back to work. So, if anyone still has any love and support left that they don’t know what to do with, I’m running for Mayor of Toronto now. Just sayin’. ;)

The Toronto Star sums up the vote in the St. Paul's riding. I like how my name at the end clicks to another article about me. I'm a recurring topic.
The Toronto Star sums up the vote in the St. Paul’s riding. I like how my name at the end clicks to another article about me. I’m a recurring topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And for my Facebook thank you, listing some of my volunteers, click here.

 

My grade 5 class visit gets into school newsletter

(NOTE: This is a post from June 18th that I originally posted at a new site that was being built for me. But that site doesn’t work, so I’m posting here just so the post still exists.)

During the provincial election campaign, a Grade 5 teacher emailed me asking me to come speak to her class. The kids were doing a Student Vote and wanted to hear from all the parties. The night before my visit, I made 30 origami frogs out of old cereal boxes, with my campaign info stamped on them. Then I visited on June 12, which was the day of the election. I was so moved by the experience, I had to quickly write it up and post it with a photo from Starbucks, right after visiting the class. See the photo and read the story here.

The principal told the teacher that we weren’t supposed to give campaign materials to the kids until after the election. So I left the frogs in a bucket for the class.

The principal told the teacher that we weren't supposed to give campaign materials to the kids until after the election. So I left the frogs in a bucket for the class.
The principal told the teacher that we weren’t supposed to give campaign materials to the kids until after the election. So I left the frogs in a bucket for the class.

The teacher, Michelle, emailed me after to tell me that the next day the kids wouldn’t stop playing with my frogs, and they kept talking about my visit. Also, Michelle showed the story to her principal, who liked the story so much that she posted it in the school newsletter! Check it out here.

And best of all, Michelle says that the mom of a certain extra-brilliant student – whom I may have mentioned in the story – has been talked to and that student might be volunteering for me in the future.

I look forward to visiting the class again. And I’ll be sure to keep you posted on those student eco heroes.

Oriole Park Remark Volume 20   June 13  2014
My story in the Oriole Park Public School newsletter.
Me speaking to the Oriole Park P.S. Grade 5 class about the Green Party.
Me speaking to the Oriole Park P.S. Grade 5 class about the Green Party.

Seen my Green Party sign? Now read my platform.

Please add this to your Facebook, tweet it out and in general share with your friends! You'll be saving paper, and helping spread the Green message!
Please add this jpg of my campaign sign to your Facebook, tweet it out and in general share with your friends! You’ll be saving paper, and helping spread the Green message! And if you want your own lawn sign, email joshrachlis@gpo.ca

Hello to everyone visiting joshrachlis.ca based on my campaign materials which include a few lawn signs and mostly my handmade recycled flyers and origami frogs (the frogs jump, which demonstrates my message that a little Green goes a long way – one Green MPP can make a big difference at Queen’s Park).

I’m running for MPP with the Green Party of Ontario in the Toronto riding of St. Paul’s.
Instead of printing thousands of glossy flyers, I distributed bits of cut-out old cereal boxes to show my commitment to reducing waste, both environmental and financial.

joshrachlis.ca is still in the process of being built, and I invite you to check back in the future for updates on my creative and environmental work. In the meantime, I’m putting my info in this post.

First, you can check out photos in my campaign Facebook album by clicking here, including great shots of me handing out my recycled handmade flyers with an 11-year old volunteer.

I’ve had many phone calls with people offering support and telling me they are voting Green. I released a campaign love song to the riding on YouTube. And, even though the other parties pulled out of both public debates in the riding, I debated the Liberal and Conservative candidates on Rogers TV. (NOTE: The debate airs on Monday, June 9th at 8pm on Rogers TV!)

I usually try to make the campaigning mostly online and in person, so that we aren’t wasting money and trees for materials, but there have been so many requests for signs that we just got some lawn signs printed. So message me on Facebook or at joshrachlis@gpo.ca if you’d like one.

For my platform, I passionately support the Green Party of Ontario policies for this election. You can read our main policies for this campaign by clicking here.

The policies consist of 9 main points:

In the next session of the legislature, your Green MPPs will demand that government:

1. Focus on your job by lowering payroll taxes for small businesses
2. Get you home faster by paying for the transit infrastructure we need
3. Invest in your home to help you save money by saving energy
4. Improve your children’s education by merging the public and separate school boards
5. Make good on our promises to address child poverty
6. Give young adults a chance to contribute to our world
7. Putting your food and water first by protecting farmland and water
8. Getting our fair share by making industry pay a fair price for our shared resources
9. Restore your confidence that our communities & natural heritage will not be damaged by development

Every demand is costed, and we show you where the money is coming from.

Personally, I am especially passionate about funding public transit, expanding bike and walking paths, planting trees, increasing green space and supporting green energy. I’ve taken Al Gore’s Climate Leader training, I wrote a Love Song for Elizabeth May that went viral and helped get Liz elected our first Green MP, and I’ve been picking up litter around town. I don’t make eco-comedy as a joke, I do it to use my skills to reach the most people possible so that I can effect positive change for the world. Here are a few articles where you can read about my passion for Green issues:

http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2009/08/22/josh_rachlis_inconvenient_habit.htm

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/10/03/the_candidate_with_the_singing_campaign_flyer.html

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/04/20/toronto-man-composes-youtube-ode-to-elizabeth-may/

Unfortunately, the other parties all declined to attend the all-candidates meetings we were supposed to have for the riding, so the only riding debate you can see was filmed on Wednesday at Rogers TV at airs on Monday, June 9th at 8pm. Here’s the TV schedule:

http://rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=12&rid=16&sid=5906&dat=6%2F9%2F2014

I’m sorry I haven’t had the resources to flyer the entire riding. But many, many people have called to tell me they’re switching from their usual parties to vote Green this time. So I invite you to join us in surprising the media by making the Green vote in our riding the highest ever – And maybe even electing the province’s first Green MPP. I promise you that as your MPP I will put my entire heart and soul into doing what’s best for our riding and for Ontario. As evidence of my commitment, here’s a love song I wrote for our riding that it would be great if you could share with your friends:

 

Actor, comedian, politician, environmentalist

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