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Should Seattle Follow London’s Lead & Appoint a “Night Mayor”?

Seattle at Night

Running a club is known to be one of the most difficult business ventures you can possibly take on. You spend a fair amount of your early days in the red, heavy promotion is often necessary, and all that is without even figuring in the cost of upkeep, regular renovations, and booking headliner artists on a weekly basis. On top of all that, you have the bureaucratic maze of neighborhood noise complaints, obscure zoning laws, and run-ins with local law enforcement. Following in the footsteps of Amsterdam, London has taken an interesting and revolutionary tack toward solving these problems: Appointing what’s known familiarly as a “Night Mayor.”

The policy itself has yet to be enacted, but it’s one that could yield incredible results for what’s been a struggling nightlife scene. The duties of the Night Mayor are simple: Act as the ambassador to the local government for the entire city’s collection of clubs, bars, and venues. In this role, they’d help coordinate with authorities and law enforcement on making nightlife the best and safest experience it can possibly be, in turn helping keep ailing businesses up and running to their full potential. Amsterdam already has seen massive success with their own Night Mayor, with their primary goal being one that every city can get behind.

“We function as an ambassador for all people that feel connected to our city’s nights. For any municipality, any media or any member of the nocturnal creative industry, who has questions or needs advice concerning the Amsterdam nightlife, the night mayor is the contact source of information.”

The problems that led London to proposing the idea themselves seem similar to the ones Seattle’s own scene faces regularly: A need to unite under a single banner for the good of the scene itself. Already we’re seeing a dialogue open among local event companies, law enforcement, and even the office of Mayor Ed Murray. Now imagine the potential for appointing a single, unbiased party to advocate for us, using Amsterdam (and hopefully London) as a framework for success.

London’s proposed initiative is part of a larger task force appointed by their own mayor, Boris Johnson, and includes a host of other reforms. Even with the expansive proposals though, it’s hard not to have your attention immediately drawn toward the plan that seeks to improve the channels of communication, breaking down the pervasive “us vs. them” mentality. The harm reduction and safety conversation in Seattle is already one that’s given us not one, but two summits, both of which featured shakers and movers from all aspects of local nightlife. With a Night Mayor in charge, we only stand to improve the level of discourse even further.

What do you think? Should Seattle follow in Amsterdam and London’s footsteps and appoint a Night Mayor? Join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!

(h/t to Londonist)

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Written By

Pop culture junkie, dinosaur enthusiast, and proud Managing Editor. While an avowed basshead, has been known to be ever-so-slightly trance-curious under the right circumstances.

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