Tony Danza: Send Obama to inner-city high school

Tony Danza: Send Obama to inner-city high school

Say the name Tony Danza and immediately one will think “Taxi” or “Who’s the Boss.” Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominated actor, Tony Danza will forever be known for his roles as cab driver and part time boxer, Tony Banta, and retired baseball player turned housekeeper, Tony Micelli. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tony was a professional boxer before he turned to acting. Most recently, Tony starred in the A&E reality show “Teach: Tony Danza,” where the audience followed Tony as he tackled the difficult job of teaching English at Northeast High School in Philadelphia. On the big screen, Tony’s films include “Angels in the Outfield” and the 2006 Academy Award Best Motion Picture of the Year, “Crash.” As himself, Tony has been host to many shows including “The Contender,” multiple episodes of “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and his own talk show “The Tony Danza Show.”

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him?   What issue would you like him to know about? 

TONY DANZA: I would want to discuss the future of public education. Is it destined to be a two-tiered system where poor kids are dumped into the least productive schools with the smallest budgets?

 RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

TD: My one question would be: What effect did universal, equal public education for all socio-economic levels have on our society?

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama as he’s campaigning for the upcoming election?

TD: On the campaign trail I would ask that he tell us why he should be reelected, not why the other guy’s a bum. One reason might be that after this election he will never have to ask anyone for money again and can escape the capture of the moneyed interests — unlike all the rest in our government.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be?  Why?

TD: I would send the president to Northeast High School in Philadelphia. The students and the teachers would love to see him and he would get a real look at what is happening — good and bad — in an inner-city high school.

RB: What piece of music would you recommend that President Obama add to his collection?  Why?

TD: I would introduce him to Peter Cincotti’s new CD, “Metropolis.” He’s a friend and great, and I think the president would dig it.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

TD: I do think about it sometimes because I would love to try to make a difference. But I don’t think I could stand the scrutiny, and I don’t think I would be a good fundraiser. I hate having my hat in my hand.

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.