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Mayor de Blasio Signs Bill Establishing "Nightlife Mayor"

September 19, 2017

Legislation also establishes Nighttime Advisory Board with stakeholders from the hospitality and entertainment industries and community groups

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation, Introduction 1688, to create the Office of Nightlife. He was joined by the bill’s sponsor Council Member Rafael Espinal, as well as Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner for Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as other elected officials and advocates. The office and the soon-to-be hired ‘Nightlife Mayor’ will serve as a central point of contact between City agencies, the nightlife industry, and city residents, promoting a safe and vibrant nightlife scene beneficial to businesses and residents across the five boroughs. The bill signing took place at House of Yes, a performance arts venue in Bushwick.

“Nightlife is part of the soul of our city. The musicians, artists and entrepreneurs that make up this community are crucial not only to our culture, but our economy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am thrilled to launch our new Office of Nightlife which will help coordinate the businesses, communities and City agencies to help New York City’s nightlife industry prosper safely and ensure it works for all New Yorkers.”

“New York City leads the nation in nightlife offerings, and it will soon add to that lead by establishing a formal advisory board and Office of Nightlife,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “This development sets an impressive example for other cities looking to merge the routine operations of bureaucratic permitting with the real-life needs of the managers and proprietors who keep the nightlife industry functioning. I am proud of Council Member Rafael Espinal for his dedicated work on sponsoring this valuable legislation, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing the measure into law today.”

“NYC’s nightlife is an integral part of our cultural identity, yet bureaucratic red tape, rising rents and lack of community planning has made it increasingly difficult for venues to stay in business,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “The Office of Nightlife will create a space where all stakeholders can come together to solve conflicts and build bridges. From local communities who deserve a decent quality of life, to businesses who are trying to do the right thing, this Office and Advisory Board will be there. These steps will create the opportunity for the city to stop bleeding out cultural spaces, and creatives while supporting our businesses.”

“Today marks an important day in the history of New York City,” said Julie Menin, Mayor’s Office Media & Entertainment Commissioner. “The nightlife community for the first time has an office that champions both the needs of the industry and the surrounding neighborhoods. We will work to keep New York’s storied nightlife vibrant, harness the creative entrepreneurial spirit that defines our city and draws so many people here, and ensure that establishments are able to comply with the rules and regulations that keep all New Yorkers safe and communities healthy.”

The city’s nightlife industry is a key component of the overall economy, supporting 300,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic benefits. With the creation of the Office of Nightlife, New York City joins more than 30 major cities around the world – including London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam – that have established similar models and experienced extremely positive outcomes from a healthier nighttime economy.

In June 2017, Mayor de Blasio announced that MOME would expand to include the first ever Office of Nightlife. Serving under the Commissioner of MOME, the Senior Executive Director of the Office of Nightlife (known colloquially as the ‘Nightlife Mayor’) will help establish this Office, implement recommendations made by a Nightlife Taskforce that will be convened to address challenges and opportunities in NYC’s nightlife industry, which includes restaurants, bars and music venues, and manage day to day operations. The Office will be a liaison between the nightlife industry, residents, and the city government ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations, and to foster good relations between nightlife establishments and the surrounding community.

“The energy usage goes up at night in Brooklyn, literally and figuratively. Our nightlife industry is an important part of our borough and our city’s economy, creating jobs and attracting tourists while inspiring a creative energy that keeps the Big Apple on the vanguard of culture,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “The new Office of Nightlife builds wonderfully upon the efforts of my administration to bring businesses and communities together to promote our second-to-none scene while resolving day-to-day challenges that may arise. I applaud Council Member Espinal for his leadership on this leadership, and I look forward to continued collaboration with the de Blasio Administration on Brooklyn’s burgeoning nightlife industry.”

“Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and congrats to my colleague in Bushwick Rafael Espinal for this legislation. Nightlife is a huge part of the economy of both our districts, and the Office of Nightlife will be a much-needed resource to support this sector while ensuring that it can continue to exist successfully alongside our important manufacturing districts and residential areas,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

"The CreateNYC cultural planning process gave us an opportunity to engage with the artists and operators of small music venues that are so essential to the creative energy of our city," said Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner for Department of Cultural Affairs. "Tonight, I'm proud to stand alongside the Mayor, City Council, and so many passionate advocates for the creation of our nightlife office, to support and promote a music landscape that is both vibrant and safe for all New Yorkers."

"Musicians are an essential part of New York City’s iconic nightlife industry, and we are dedicated to ensuring that our city’s cultural and entertainment economy continues to thrive," said Tino Gagliardi, President, Local 802 American Federation of Musicians. "I commend the Mayor and City Council for their leadership and efforts to ensure that the nightlife industry and the performers and workers who drive it receive the support they need. Our City's nightlife is an essential part of our global identity, and addressing the unique challenges of this industry and its workers will ensure that New York remains a vibrant cultural capital of the world for many years to come." 

"The NYC Office of Nightlife will secure our title of the City that Never Sleeps. This office will ensure government supports our nightlife industry, which is vital to the culture, soul and economy of New York City.  We commend Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Espinal for supporting the nightlife industry and look forward to working with this office to promote a vibrant and healthy nighttime economy," said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of NYC Hospitality Alliance.

“Recreational dancing is an important part of New York nightlife whose venues need to be helped and protected.  We're grateful for City Council Member Espinal to follow Europe's lead in creating the nation's first office of nightlife,” said Greg Miller, Executive Director of Dance Parade.

This legislation also establishes a Nightlife Advisory Board, which will consist of 12 members appointed by the Mayor and the City Council Speaker. The board will make recommendations on issues and trends relating to common obstacles faced by business owners in the nightlife industry, public safety concerns, enforcement, zoning, and other community relations matters. The Board will provide recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council within 18 months of the effective date of the law.

MOME has begun interviewing candidates for the Senior Executive Director of Nightlife position, which is listed on NYC Jobs.

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