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Here Are the 14 Appointees of New York’s Nightlife Advisory Board

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The beloved Motor City Bar closed in 2013. Photo by H. Spencer Young.
Closing night on Ludlow Street at the beloved Motor City Bar in 2013. Photo by H. Spencer Young.

Mayor de Blasio and the City Council have just announced 14 appointees of New York’s new Nightlife Advisory Board.

Back in March, Lower East Side resident and former club owner Ariel Palitz was appointed head of a newly created office — New York City’s Office of Nightlife. The advisory board will be working with Palitz (the so-called ‘Night Mayor’) and, as a press release explained, “will be charged with making recommendations to the City Council and the Mayor on ways to improve regulations and policies that impact nightlife establishments.”

Here’s the full list of appointees:


City Council appointees

Robert Bookman, regulatory and liquor licensing attorney, partner Pesetsky and Bookman

Marti Gould Cummings, drag artist, LGBTQ advocate

Alvester Garnett, drummer, percussionist, arts educator and advocate

Pedro Goico, representative at New York Supermarket Association

Olympia Kazi, architect, arts advocate and urban design critic. Member of the NYC Artists Coalition

 Andrew Praschak, environmental attorney

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance

David Rosen, Brooklyn and Queens bar operator and community organizer, co-founder of Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants (BABAR)

Susan Xenarios, director and founder, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals


Mayoral appointees

 José Francisco Ávila, founder and managing member of Garufina Afro-Latina Entertainment, LLC. and Chairman of the Board of The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc

Kurtis Blow, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, DJ and Chairman of the Universal Hip Hop Museum who has released 15 albums over the course of his career

DJ Tikka Masala composes and produces music for the Obie and Bessie award winning Brooklyn based feminist acrobatic dance company, LAVA, and is resident DJ at Henrietta Hudson, the oldest lesbian bar in the city. Tikka Masala has been working in NYC nightlife since 2004

Susan Stetzer, district manager for Community Board 3, Manhattan, where she has served for the past 14 years

Luisa F. Torres, owner of Mojitos Restaurant Bar and community activist


According to the joint press release from the mayor’s office and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson:

The Nightlife Advisory Board will issue formal recommendations to the Mayor and the Council that will address the regulatory structure of the nightlife industry; common complaints about nightlife establishments; public safety concerns related to nightlife; zoning, enforcement, nightlife workforce conditions and the integration of nightlife into the city’s various neighborhoods. All members will serve two year terms.

Both the Office of Nightlife and the advisory Board were created through legislation sponsored by Council Member Rafael Espinal.

Both of our local Council representatives were quoted in today’s press release.

City Council member Margaret Chin said, “Our vibrant and diverse nightlife is what makes us unique, and we must ensure that this crucial part of our city’s identity continues to survive and thrive. I thank Mayor De Blasio, Speaker Johnson and Council Member Espinal for their efforts to create a Nightlife Advisory Board with a variety of perspectives and skill-sets. As the eyes and ears of their communities, I look forward to working with these leaders on solutions that benefit residents, patrons and small business owners.”

City Council member Carlina Rivera said, “I am excited to begin working with this diverse group of individuals who are being appointed to the Nightlife Advisory. They truly represent the unique character and passion that has made New York City’s nightlife the envy of every other city in the world. This broad swath of operators, artists, and civic leaders will ensure that our nightlife establishments continue to flourish and remain strong community partners in improving the industry.”

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