After three months on the job, nightlife mayor Ariel Palitz finally has an advisory board, a group of 14 individuals chosen by the mayor and the City Council who will help Palitz put together suggestions on how the city can improve the relationship between residents and local nightlife.
The board has a few genuinely surprising and refreshing picks, including legendary rapper Kurtis Blow, best known for his 1980 hit “The Breaks,” local drag artist and LGBTQ advocate Marti Gould Cummings, and DJ Tikka Masala, the resident DJ at Henrietta Hudson. Those three will be joined by Community Board 3 district manager Susan Stetzer, New York City Hospitality Alliance executive director Andrew Rigie, and Susan Xenarios, who heads up the Crime Victims Treatment Center at three of the city’s hospitals.
“I am very excited to work with the Nightlife Advisory Board, and look forward to the important and diverse insight they will bring,” Palitz said in an official statement. “Along with the recent hiring of the full Office of Nightlife staff, the stage is set to accomplish the very significant work ahead.”
Together, Palitz and the advisory board will spend the next 15 months taking full stock of the city’s nightlife scene across all five boroughs and then issuing a report to Mayor de Blasio and the City Council on what policy changes should be made.
Back in May, Palitz told Grub, “This is really intended to be an educated opinion that informs the administration about the issues for all the stakeholders and to be an advocate for the industry as well as the community in a way that has not existed before.” The full list of appointees is below.
José Francisco Ávila, founder and managing member of Garifuna 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.
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.
City Council Appointees
Robert Bookman, regulatory and liquor-licensing attorney, partner Pesetsky & 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, urban design critic, and 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.
Susan Xenarios, director and founder, Crime Victims Treatment Center, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals.