The official bill has been passed, and with that the Nightlife director is born. The office will consist of a “nightlife director,” who will be appointed by the mayor, and a “nightlife advisory board” comprised of 12 members.
The Consumer Affairs Committee and council voted in favour of the Office of Nightlife for New York City. Sponsored by council member Rafael Espinal, the new office outlines of responsibilities include “conducting outreach to establishments, assisting in the resolution of enforcement actions, receiving 311 complaints and compiling recommendations, supporting workforce conditions and liaising between communities and venues.”
According to the committee, their objective is to be the medium between the city and those in the industry, the office will share recommendations directly to the mayor and council in order to “support best practices for the industry and to improve the lives of New Yorkers. They have followed form from previous cities, London and Amsterdam, who produced similar offices in 2014 and 2016, respectively, as a way of defending their nighttime economies.
High traffic cosmopolitan cities, London and New York, received pressure from artists and industry people to create an office like this because of rising property values, which have made it difficult for music and arts communities to survive in the city center. It also grew from increased media attention to the city’s archaic cabaret law—also known as the “no dancing” law—which critics see as a way to arbitrarily shut down dance establishments.
First published on Resident Advisor