Jacqueline Emerson

My 5 Minutes with the President

Washington, D.C., native Jacqueline Emerson made her film debut as Foxface in the highly acclaimed film, “The Hunger Games.” From a young age, Jacqueline pursued acting, singing and song-writing.  She was a member of the Disney recording band, Devo 2.0, and has since participated in voice-overs for both radio and television; and performed in numerous professional productions with Reprise, the Los Angeles Opera and LA Theater Works.

Jacqueline’s first music video, “Peter Pan,” was released a few months ago and is an anthem for adolescents about not growing up too fast. She recently released her second single “Catch Me If You Can,” which can be found on You Tube.  In her public advocacy work, Jacqueline  recorded a CD to benefit the St. Bernard Project, an award-winning rebuilding, nonprofit organization whose mission is to remove physical, mental and emotional barriers for vulnerable families, senior citizens and disabled residents who are struggling to recover from the devastation and trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina.  Jacqueline was accepted to Stanford University and is set to become a matriculating freshman there this fall. 

RB: 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?

JE: In the spirit of Running Start, I would like to speak with the president about the importance of encouraging young women to be strong citizens and be active in politics. Also, I am very involved with the St. Bernard Project. I worked with them to rebuild houses in St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans. I went down there a few years ago with my family and we spent the week rebuilding houses.  It is something that a lot of people have forgotten about, but it is still an issue and I also would like to speak with him about that.

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

JE:  What is your biggest priority next term? And as a more fun question, I also would ask, Where do you go to think about really complicated issues?

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama as he hits the campaign trail for the upcoming election?

JE:  Make sure you get a lot of rest, you will be very busy!  Also, probably encourage young people to get out and vote because we are the next generation, people like me, actually. I am voting this year which is really weird. It would just be great to get the young people energized because it is so important for people to vote. I know he did a great job at getting young people excited during the last election, so if he could just do that again.

RB: Is this the first time you are voting?

JE: Yes it is. I will be turning 18 in August!

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?

JE: Well my grandparents have a house in Fraser, Colo., (up near Winter Park, about two hours outside of Denver), where we would go a lot.  It is just so peaceful there. The trees are so beautiful and the air is so fresh. He is probably very busy and he would probably appreciate the surroundings and need those days to relax and get reconnected to nature.

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

JE: This one I’m not sure about -— well I was thinking just any Beatles song. If you are stressed, you know it nice to just listen to “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

JE: Possibly. I definitely want to be in a position where I can reach out to people. So I’m not sure, I guess we will just see the way the wind blows. Actually when I was in elementary school, there was a day where we were supposed to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up. I dressed up as the president. I wanted to be the first female president. 

RB: Where are you from?

JE: I was born in DC and moved to LA.

RB: Let’s talk about the Women to Watch Award – that is big!

JE: I am so honored. When my publicist called and told me about the award I was just so exited. I try to be as involved as possible in different charities and organizations. The Women to Watch Award is given by Running Start, a nonpartisan organization that works to create more female political leaders. 

RB:  What’s in your future?

JE:  I am going to Stanford University in the Fall and am very excited about that.

RB: Congratulations! Do you know what you would like to study?

JE: East Asian Studies, Chinese. I am in my fourth year of Chinese at school and I’ve been to China twice. China is going to be a major world power player and I think it is really important to understand the culture.

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. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.