New York City, you have a new mayor — of nightlife, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
Ariel Palitz's official title is senior executive director of the Office of Nightlife, the first-ever person to hold this position, which de Blasio first announced back in September.
“Nightlife is part of the spark of our city. It’s one of the few spaces where all our diversity comes together in a single room," the mayor said in a statement. "Ariel has lived and breathed this work her whole life. She understands the needs of live musicians, artists, business owners and residents, and she’ll help bring everybody together to foster the kind of vibrant and safe nightlife New Yorkers deserve."
Palitz, 47, who owned and operated East Village nightclub Sutra for 10 years, and served on Community Board 3 for seven years, said she is “honored” with her new role in her native city.
“I understand what is at stake and the challenges ahead. This office presents an opportunity to support the small business owners, workers, artists and all New Yorkers who make up our diverse nightlife culture,” she said. “The Office of Nightlife will be a place for operators, employees, creators, patrons, and residents alike. New Yorkers will no longer have to yearn for the good old days. With the Office of Nightlife, the best is yet to come.”
According to The New York Times, Palitz will have a $130,000 salary, a $300,000 budget and will oversee a 12-person advisory board.
Councilman Rafael Espinal, who sponsored the legislation that created Palitz’s new gig, thinks she’ll give the administration “ a unique perspective on nightlife issues,” he said in a statement. “There is a lot of work to do, and I look forward to working with Ariel as I continue advocating for the independent venues and DIY community that desperately needs the city's support to come out of the bureaucratic shadows.”