Leslie Knope, also known as actor Amy Poehler, must receive a lot of fan mail. They probably run the gamut: marriage proposals, letters of admiration, notes debating her political views and maybe a few obsessed fans tell her how perfect her life would be if she moved into the writer’s room, which is conveniently in his mom’s basement.
But in May, Poehler received a letter from Park Slope’s very own Councilmember Brad Lander. What did Lander have to say? Some funny things, you should read the letter, which is attached. But, basically, he asked if Poehler, or her “Parks and Recreation” character as Leslie Knope, would come on over to Brooklyn and see what it’s like to be a real councilmember.
Lander thought Knope, who just won the Pawnee City Council election in the NBC show, would like Park Slope, which is in Lander’s words, “a neighborhood populated by a simple, stroller-pushing people” who live off of “artisanal cheese and kale.”
He explains to Knope that the Slope is home to the Gowanus Canal, “a waterway that local lore says is 90 percent guns and 10 percent water.”
The letter was a joke, of course, according to one of Lander’s representatives. But he also wrote it to see if she would actually come and check out our ‘hood, and maybe even sit in on a City Council meeting.
But, Lander said that as a councilmember (even though she does not exist in real life), Knope actually has some good qualities.
When asked why he wrote the letter, Lander answered, tongue-in-cheek, about how the Pawnee councilwoman, the town in “Parks and Recreation,” could learn from us.
“I think the Pawnee Councilmember-Elect could learn a lot from our experiences in Brooklyn,” he said. “Brooklynites show how parent involvement in PTAs or community stewardship of public spaces can help solve problems that Pawnee is also facing.”
“And, we occasionally encounter a raccoon here and there, so we, in turn, could learn a lot from her fight against raccoon armies in local parks,” Lander said, citing an episode where a raccoon runs rampant in the park in Pawnee.
One of his favorite episodes was when Knope relentlessly tried to catch a kid who vandalized a statue in Pawnee.
“The episode where Leslie seeks to catch a teen vandal in the act is a great portrayal of Leslie’s absolute commitment to her community – although I’m not sure I approve of her more heavy handed tactics,” he said, referring to how he wouldn’t kidnap a kid, like Knope did. “She takes great pride in where she’s from and will go beyond her responsibilities to address the issues that others have not been able to resolve.”
But, would Knope be a good councilmember in real life?
“Leslie puts all her energy into public service and she will make a great councilmember,” Lander said of Knope, who dedicates her entire life to her job. “But she should always remember to reserve time for her family and friends.”
When reached for comment, Poehler’s representatives said that she “did not have time” to make a visit to Brooklyn.
But, what would Lander have done with Amy if she came to Park Slope?
“I’d like to hear your readers ideas,” he said.
So, readers, would you take Knope to Daisy’s Diner for a plate of waffles? To the Park Slope Food Coop? To Prospect Park?
Let us know what you would do if Poehler came to the Slope in the comments section!