Ode to Knope
When Parks and Recreation was in “prime-time”, I caught bits here and there. It was amusing, but many of the characters and inside jokes were lost on me. Then came Netflix. About a year or so ago (pre-pandemic, I think, but time is elusive these days), I was looking for my typical binge fare - mindless, entertaining, and short - and I decided to give P&R a shot.
I ended up watching nothing but P&R for weeks because I was hooked, and those that know me know why - I AM LESLIE KNOPE. I am a complete and utter dork. I always want what is best for people. I color code notebooks. I always have plans. I cannot sit still (yes, I may be binge watching tv, but I’m almost always doing other things at the same time). I am a feminist. I love breakfast foods. I sometimes cannot read the room. And it totally is incomprehensible to me that others do not have the same passions I do.
But P&R also struck a chord with me and my post-2016 resistance rage. I should be out there DOING SOMETHING. I need to embrace my outer Leslie; because we all know I totally embrace my inner one each day.
I started a binge re-watch of P&R this past week, after I made my candidacy official. Now I am not just watching for entertainment. I am watching for Knope inspiration, for Knope wisdom, for Knope hope. For all of Knope-kind. Think how different local politics would be if it were filled with Leslie Knope-esque civil servants. With people passionate about doing what is right for others. With women who did not put up with bull-you-know-what. With candidates that believed in the power of the people - ALL people - all with different stories to tell, who came together for one common cause - making things better.
This is my dream. A Knope-filled world. I am taking that first step this year, and I hope other Leslies will join me. Other Aprils. Other Bens. Other Anns.
I am Sam, your Knope candidate for Warwick School Board.