Actress would talk with Obama about racism

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Anne-Marie Johnson is perhaps best known for her character Congresswoman Bobbie Latham on CBS’s hit military drama, “JAG,” as well as her role in The Disney Channel hit television series “That’s So Raven.” On the big screen, Johnson’s films include “Robot Jox,” “Down in the Delta,” “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Legacy Of A Hit Man.” She can currently be seen in the feature film “About Fifty.” Johnson is entering her 14th year as a Screen Actors Guild national board officer and has served as senior adviser to the president of SAG. She was elected as SAG’s national 1st vice president for four terms, making her the first African-American to hold that position in the Guild’s 80-year history. Johnson also holds a seat on the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) national board and is a board member of the Silver Lake (Los Angeles) Neighborhood Council. 

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? 

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ANNE-MARIE JOHNSON: I feel pretty confident that there is no issue on my radar that President Obama doesn’t know about or have an opinion on. I believe I’d like to discuss how race impacted his two presidential elections and how race impacts his effectiveness now. I’d just like to have an honest, organic conversation with the president about racism in 21st century America.

RB: What piece of advice would you give Obama as he settles into his second term in office?

AMJ: I’d be a fool to offer the just re-elected president — by popular vote and electoral — any advice.

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?

AMJ: I’d send him to play a lovely round of golf on the Bay Course at Kapalua in Maui. And, since I’m an avid golfer, I’d make sure I was in his foursome.

RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that the president add to his collection? Why?

AMJ: I’m not a big music buff, but I love Seal or Amy Winehouse. So, any piece of music from either of them would suffice.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

AMJ: Yes. I’ve been involved in union politics for almost 20 years. I served as the Screen Actors Guild 1st vice president for four terms — the first African-American to hold that position in the guild’s 80-year history. ... Prior to the merger, I was a SAG national board member for over 15 years, an AFTRA national board member for over 3, and I currently sit as a SAG/AFTRA national board member. I was currently reelected to my board seat on my neighborhood council and also serve as its parliamentarian and governmental affairs co-chair. Along with my successful career as a television and film actor, I also work for my city council representative and would love to continue my involvement in city politics.

RB: So that would be a resounding yes.

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.