This week, the New York City Council officially passed a bill to form an Office of Nightlife. Prior to the meeting, the bill was approved by a vote between the Consumer Affairs Committee. According to Curbed, Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a two month period to hire a Director of Nightlife who will serve as a representative for independent and DIY spaces as well as a liaison between the nightlife industry and City Hall. The mayor is also responsible for selecting a few individuals to join the Nightlife Advisory Panel for the course of a two-year term. The remaining members will be appointed by the City Council Speaker. As Gothamist reports, these individuals will include industry service workers and zoning experts. The law is expected to go into effect within 60 days.
Back in May, councilman Rafael Espinal started a campaign for the creation of a "night mayor" position in New York that would be similar to the title of nachtburgemeester in Amsterdam. Cities like London, Paris and Zurich have also created government positions to sustain the economy of nightlife culture.
"What I imagine the office doing is finding ways we can be helpful in creating a business friendly environment that supports nightlife," Espinal previously told Gothamist. "And I want to make sure that we're not a city where artists' ability to express themselves is hindered by bureaucracy."
Overall, the purpose of the Office of Nightlife is to resolve ongoing issues between New York's DIY venues and residential communities, advocate for the protection and preservation of these spaces, and challenge the extreme measures that are posed against them by law enforcement. One of the pieces of legislation that they will reportedly work on repealing is a "Prohibition-era law that requires venues to have a cabaret license for dancing."