A New York City councilman has proposed that the city create a new position in its bureaucracy that would protect DIY venues in the city. Gothamist reported Tuesday that Rafael Espinal is drafting legislation that would create an Office of Nightlife, and a "night mayor" to be in charge of the department.
The night mayor position would include being a liaison between city government and the nightlife industry, while also supporting the smaller, independent venues and clubs in the city.
Night mayor is a position that is very popular in Europe, with similar roles existing in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. The FADER spoke with London's Night Czar, Amy Lamé, last month to discuss what she does for London's club scene. Lamé said that "saving venues" was a priority of hers, and Espinal's legislation also makes a point to protect DIY venues that have a particularly hard time staying open.
Espinal referenced the closing of preeminent Brooklyn DIY venue Shea Stadium as an example of the struggle faced by smaller venues in New York. "I feel like these venues are facing a whole array of issues, getting up to code, and also dealing with pressures of real estate market here in New York," the councilman told Gothamist.
The councilman does not yet have an idea of what the position will look like completely or what it might entail, but the night mayor position would probably go to someone "who has experience frequenting a DIY venue."