leslie knope

Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope Is Still the Great Political Hope for Local Government Officials

Knope 2020?

Amid the sea of corrupt, incompetent, and deceitful politicians currently scheming on TV, Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope still stands tall — so tall, in fact, that local officials are looking to her as a model for effective, levelheaded governing. In a Hollywood Reporter feature on the evolution of small-screen bureaucrats, Parks co-creator Michael Schur spoke about Leslie’s lasting influence in the civic sphere. “[Local government employees] have said that her hopeful vision of government was helpful in times of crisis,” he explained. “There’s an aspirational quality to Leslie … She offers a kind of blueprint for how we might go about curing certain problems in government.” (She’d already made a fan out of one Hillary Clinton.) Schur also revealed that Parks was initially pitched as “a comedy version of The West Wing” — that is, a wonky but hopeful depiction of the political process — and explained that “TV tells stories and reflects the time in which we live.” We’re now in 2017, and Leslie left our TV screens at the tail-end of the Obama era — so, yeah, while it’s great that her influence is still being felt on the local level, that sounds about right.

Leslie Knope Is Helping Local Governments in Times of Crisis