By Robin Bronk - 07/05/11 09:42 PM EDT
Gloria Reuben, best known for her role as Jeanie Boulet on the hit NBC TV series “ER,” was recently seen hitting the books in the Library of Congress. Word has it she was studying up for her newest role, in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Abraham Lincoln film.
The multi-Emmy, -Golden Globe and -SAG award nominee (she’s won four SAG awards) was last seen onscreen in 2008, in the indie comedy/drama “The Understudy.” Most recently, Reuben starred in TNT’s critically acclaimed “Raising the Bar” TV series. She is also an activist, championing causes such as HIV/AIDS awareness, climate-change consciousness and support for the arts.
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?
GLORIA REUBEN: I would discuss climate change, an issue that can’t be denied any longer, even from the deniers. Just ask the residents alongside the Mississippi River, or in the Carolinas, Alabama, Missouri, Massachusetts, New York City — all across America, towns and cities are being ravaged by … storms, along with droughts and floods, that are getting more frequent, severe and record-breaking every year.
RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would it be?
GR: One piece of advice: Permanently eliminate the subsidies to Big Oil and Big Coal.
RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?
GR: My one question to the president would be, ‘Before you entered politics, what was your vision for America?’ Do you feel like your leadership is bringing you, and all of us in this nation, closer to your vision?
RB: What book would you lend President Obama? Why?
GR: The book I would offer to the president would be James Baldwin’s Going to Meet the Man. I love short stories, and this collection is one of my favorites.
RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?
GR: I would send the president to the Appalachian mountain range in West Virginia, so that he could witness mountaintop-removal coal mining firsthand.
RB: Would you ever consider a political career?
GR: I did consider a political career at one point, and I may do so again. But at this time the political system is too dysfunctional and polarized for any real and necessary changes to happen.
Bronk is a seasoned Capitol Hill strategist and advocate. She started her career at The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for the arts and entertainment industry, in July 1998. During her tenure as CEO, Bronk has taken The Creative Coalition from a New York-based entity to a national organization. www.thecreativecoalition.org