- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city council have appointed 14 people to its first Nightlife Advisory Board as a complement to the newly formed Office of Nightlife.
- The board will make recommendations to the mayor and city council on improvements to policies and regulations that affect nightlife establishments. Topics include public complaints about nightlife establishments, public safety concerns, zoning, enforcement, nightlife working conditions and integrating nightlife into neighborhoods.
- Board members will serve two-year terms and are not paid. The appointees have a variety of careers and include regulatory attorneys, DJs, artists and nightlife advocates.
In cities like New York, nightlife comprises a significant portion of the economy. However, it also comes with conflicts, especially complaints from neighbors who reside near such establishments. The back-and-forth battles that make their way to the city government often result in punitive measures such as fines or restrictions for nightlife establishments, and even their closure.
While bars, music venues and other establishments claim they have the right to operate, residents claim they have the right to an existence without the noise — or vomiting and urination — that often accompanies late-night establishments. These are some of the issues that the Office of Nightlife aims to ease, by advocating for late-night establishments while still responding to residents' concerns.
One aspect of particular interest is the potential for inequity when residents are faced with neighborhood gentrification that includes nightlife. Residents in well-established, low-income neighborhoods might suddenly find themselves dealing with partiers as their portion of the city gets revamped and becomes a hot nightlife area. This becomes a quality of life issue that many residents feel helpless about trying to solve.
"Working together, I know we can help nightlife establishments comply with well-thought out regulations while ensuring that our communities maintain the kind of quality of life they deserve," Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, said in a statement.