Alicia Keys has taken her passion for criminal justice reform, wrapped it up in a bow, sealed it with a kiss and sent it off to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan for Valentine’s Day.
The singer has long been outspoken in calling on legislators to help end the mass incarceration of non-violent crime offenders whose imprisonment breaks up families and spins misguided youths into a vicious cycle of crime and punishment that often endures for the rest of their lives.
In this video Valentine she made for Mic.com, Keys addresses Ryan (by his first name, asking, “Can I call you Paul?”) with a little sweet talk, saying, “I recently saw a picture of you working out and I was like, ‘Mmm, I never saw the Speaker of the House working out before. He must be cool!’
“Are you cool, Paul?” she asks before daring him to “show me how cool you are. In fact you can even maybe be my Valentine if you help me spread some love.”
The love she is referring to is a vote to reform “excessive incarceration” to “keep families together and reunite those that have been unjustly torn apart.” She then shows off a Valentine’s Day card that says “You have a heart of gold,” and instructs viewers to go to WeAreHereMovement.com where they can send their own Valentines to Ryan. The site explains:
We only have a few months left to pass criminal justice reform under President Obama, and Speaker Paul Ryan is one of the few people who can help make it happen. Join Alicia and fill out the form on the right to send Speaker Ryan a real-life Valentine asking him to let Congress vote on reform.
“You’re welcome in advance for the thousand little love notes that are coming your way,” Keys coos slightly menacingly to Ryan, revealing the real purpose behind the video — to bombard the Speaker with pleas from citizens to enact justice reform.
Keys then blows a kiss to camera. And scene.