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Mayor Bowser Signs Bill Establishing DC’s First Office of Nightlife and Culture

Thursday, October 18, 2018
New Office Will Work with Residents, Businesses, and District Agencies on Issues Relating to the District’s Vibrant and Growing Nightlife and Entertainment Scene

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser signed the “Office and Commission of Nightlife Establishment Act of 2017,” establishing the District’s first Office of Nightlife and Culture. The new office will promote efficiencies for the District's after-hours economy by serving as a central point of contact between DC Government, the nightlife industry, and District residents. The Mayor signed the legislation at The Park at 14th, a nightlife establishment in Ward 2, and was joined by the bill’s sponsor, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd.

“Residents and visitors to Washington, DC know that we have world-class food and entertainment options in neighborhoods across the District that appeal to all ages and all tastes – and that those choices continue to grow,” said Mayor Bowser. “We know that this creates fantastic opportunities as well as a few challenges, and the Office of Nightlife and Culture is going to ensure that we’re working across DC Government, with our residents and businesses, to ensure a vibrant DC nightlife that works for everyone.”

Washington, DC has one of the strongest local economies in the nation, and the city’s nightlife industry is a key component of the overall economy. With the creation of the Office of Nightlife and Culture, Washington, DC joins more than 30 major cities in the United States and around the world – including New York City, Berlin, Paris, London, and Amsterdam – that have established similar entities to manage their after-hours industries.

“I introduced this legislation because the District’s nightlife and culture economy are booming,” said Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd. “This means more opportunities for residents to experience restaurants, bars, clubs, art, fashion, music, theaters, and entertainment venues of all sorts after hours. But it also means nighttime activity in neighborhoods that haven’t experienced it before. This new office will help ensure that all stakeholders are working together to address concerns such as parking, noise, and litter, and that new and existing establishments have help cutting red tape as they seek to expand opportunities in neighborhoods across the District.”

The legislation also establishes a 15-member Commission of Nightlife, which will be comprised of government, private-sector, and community representatives. The commission will advise the Mayor, the Director of the Office of Nightlife and Culture, and the DC Council on policies that effect nightlife establishments and the creative economy. The Commission of Nightlife will meet quarterly to review regulations, common complaints, public safety concerns, and other relevant issues.