A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 17, 2017
Night Mayor

A “night mayor” is a person who oversees nightlife concerns within a city. Unlike the position of mayor, a “night mayor” is usually appointed (by the mayor) and not elected. The term “night mayor,” as sometimes pointed out, sounds like “nightmare.”

The city of Amsterdam established a “night mayor” (Nachtburgemeester) in 2003, but expanded the position in 2014. “Awesome - Amsterdam has a night mayor #nachtburgemeester who represents the interests of the city’s party animals” was posted on Twitter on June 8, 2012.

Other cities followed Amsterdam’s lead. New York City created an Office of Nightlife in 2017, to be filled with a Director of Nightlife, or “night mayor.”


Twitter
LouisinLondon‏
@LouisinLondon
Awesome - Amsterdam has a night mayor #nachtburgemeester who represents the interests of the city’s party animals. (seriously) grin
6:12 AM - 8 Jun 2012

Twitter
Mehjabeen‏
@mehprice
Amsterdam has a public office - ‘night mayor’ (nachtburgemeester) to represent the interest of city’s party animals - now how great is that!
2:50 PM - 20 Jun 2012 from City of Bristol, England

April 2013, Mix Mag (London, UK), “Night Mayor on Dam Straat” by Will Gillgrass, pg. 66:
“THE ROLE is like being the ambassador of Amsterdam night life culture,” Mirik Milan, the current Nachtburgemeester (Night Mayor) of Amsterdam explains over the phone to from his Amsterdam apartment.

“The city council introduced the role in 2003 because they saw a lot of things happening at night which the mayor and the councillors didn’t understand. They knew nothing about this aspect of the city’s culture, and they wanted a spokesperson to advise them on policies.”

Mirik took the voluntary, unpaid position last March after presenting his policies in a 10-minute speech and answering questions from a select jury made up of a six people chosen by the outgoing Night Mayor.

DW
Amsterdam’s official ‘Night’ Mayor
DW joins Mirik Milan, Amsterdam’s official Night Mayor, as he does one of his regular “patrols,” which take place three times a week.
Date 26.10.2014
Duration 04:59 mins.

CityLab
A ‘Night Mayor’ Is Transforming Amsterdam After Dark
FEARGUS O’SULLIVAN JAN 29, 2016
The Dutch capital’s concept is already spreading to other major cities.
(...)
The idea might sound ambitious, but then forward-thinking about Amsterdam after dark is actually Milan’s job: he’s the Dutch capital’s “night mayor.” This innovative office, unique to Amsterdam when created in 2014 (as the development of a project itself begun in 2003), has helped to clear up a blind spot that many cities face.

The Economist
From dusk ‘til dawn
Arbitration, cultivating culture and the other stuff of night mayors
Cities benefit when the after-hours economy is properly catered to

Oct 24th 2016 by B.C. | AMSTERDAM
WHEN Amsterdam’s mayor heads home at the end of his working day, Mirik Milan, the city’s Nachtburgemeester, clocks in. As night mayor, Mr Milan serves as a liaison between “culturally creative nightlife” and City Hall; the results have been so transformative that other Dutch cities have created similar posts, as have Paris, Zurich and Cali. Stockholm and Sydney are looking to do the same. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is poised to hire a “Night Czar” to further boost the city’s night-time economy.

Gothamist
NYC Councilman Wants To Create A ‘Night Mayor’ To Protect DIY Venues
BY JAKE OFFENHARTZ IN NEWS ON MAY 9, 2017 3:30 PM
The city that never sleeps may soon have a “mayor” that doesn’t either, at least if one city councilmember gets his way. Rafael Espinal is currently drafting legislation to create an Office Of Nightlife, overseen by a “night mayor” who would serve both as an advocate for independent art spaces and a liaison between City Hall and New York’s $10 billion nightlife industry.
(...)
While the position would be unique among American cities, the concept of a night mayor has been spreading across Europe since Amsterdam first introduced its nachtburgemeester in 2014—a move that’s been “transformative” for the Dutch capital, according to the Economist.

Gothamist
The ‘Night Mayor’ Cometh! NYC Set To Establish First Ever Office Of Nightlife
BY JAKE OFFENHARTZ IN ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ON AUG 24, 2017 9:56 AM
Assuming a city council vote goes as it’s expected, New Yorkers will soon be getting their own City Hall advocate for sensible nightlife policies. A bill poised to pass the council later this afternoon would give Mayor de Blasio two months to appoint a Director of Nightlife, who will oversee the newly-established Office of Nightlife.

The office of the “Night Mayor” — a preferable title, in our opinion, though we’d also accept Night Czar, Party Mayor, or The D.O.N. — is to act as a liaison between City Hall and New York’s $10 billion nightlife industry, and to help resolve problems between venues and neighboring residents. The other purpose of this office, according to Councilmember Rafael Espinal, will be to serve on behalf of the city’s DIY venues, and to fight back against the archaic rules and arbitrary enforcement that threaten their survival.
(...)
As we first reported in May, the bill is modeled after Amsterdam’s Nachtburgemeester, a former party promoter whose appointment has had “transformative” results, according to the Economist. Since then, similar “Night Mayors” have found success in Berlin, Zurich, Paris, and London, each with varying mandates based on the particular needs of the city’s after-hours businesses.

CityLab
How to Be a Good ‘Night Mayor’
FEARGUS O’SULLIVAN SEP 26, 2017
New York is the first major American city to create an official body to oversee nightlife. Here’s what it can learn from the European cities that have tried it so far.
(...)
But in recent years, some European cities have turned this dynamic on its head. From Amsterdam’s “night mayor” to London’s “night czar,” Berlin’s Club Commission, and others, the concept takes many forms, but the underlying idea is the same: give nightlife a clear, respected voice in city hall.

And now this concept is coming to America. On August 24, the New York City Council voted to create the Office of Nightlife, scheduled to start operating this winter. The first major North American city to adopt the idea, the office will tackle issues such as improving conditions for nightlife workers, investigating the effects of zoning laws, managing noise and trash nuisance, and making conditions easier for artists and smaller-scale night businesses.

CityLimits.org
New York’s ‘Night Mayor’ Plan Pushes Underground Venues Into the Spotlight
By Madeleine Crenshaw | October 20, 2017
Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that will establish a new office to oversee New York’s nightlife. The city will join Amsterdam, Berlin, London and Paris, among 26 other cities that have incorporated an official position to oversee its after-hours.
(...)
But Rafael Espinal, a New York City councilmember who created the bill, says he designed the Office of Nightlife with underground venues in mind. “When I created the bill for the Office of Nightlife I stressed from the beginning: The one thing we have to focus on is bringing the D.I.Y. spaces and cultural spaces out of the bureaucratic shadows,” Espinal says.

The Office of Nightlife is intended to work as a liaison between venues, the government and the people of New York. The agency will be housed under the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and will have a “night mayor” in charge of a 12-member board.

The Village Voice (New York, NY)
AWAITING THE ‘NIGHT MAYOR’
Small clubs hope that a new City Hall office will make it easier to navigate New York City’s licensing bureaucracy
by ROSHAN ABRAHAM
NOVEMBER 17, 2017
(...)
More promising still to small and DIY spaces is a law, written by Espinal and signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio on September 19, that establishes an Office of Nightlife to serve as a liaison between City Hall and the nightlife industry. Its director, as yet unappointed, has already earned the nickname “night mayor,” a title used by similar offices in cities like Amsterdam.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, November 17, 2017 • Permalink