Code of the District of Columbia

Chapter 6C. Office of and Commission on Nightlife and Culture.


§ 3–661. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Commission" means the Commission on Nightlife and Culture established in § 3-664(a).

(2) "Creative industry" means the music, performing arts, and visual arts industries.

(3) "Creative space" means an area open to the public for encouraging work in and the exhibiting of creative industries.

(4) "Director" means the Director of the Office of Nightlife and Culture.

(5) "Member" means a member of the Commission.

(6) "Nightlife establishment" means an establishment that is open to the public for entertainment or leisure and conducts business between the hours of 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. during weekdays and anytime during weekends. The term "nightlife establishment" includes bars, entertainment venues, clubs, theatres, sports, recreation and entertainment venues, art galleries, and restaurants.

(7) "Office" means the Office of Nightlife and Culture established in § 3-662(a).

(8) "Workplace conditions" means the physical conditions and mental demands that affect workers in nightlife establishments.


(Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-191, § 2, 65 DCR 11868.)


§ 3–662. Establishment of the Office of Nightlife and Culture.

(a) Pursuant to § 1-204.04(b), the Council establishes an Office of Nightlife and Culture within the executive branch of the District government. The purpose of the Office shall be to serve as an intermediary between nightlife establishments, residents living near such establishments, and the District government.

(b) The Office shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council pursuant to § 1-523.01(a). The Director shall be a fulltime position, for which annual compensation shall be fixed in accordance with subchapter X-A of Chapter 6 of Title 1. The Director shall have such staff as is appropriated in an approved budget.


(Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-191, § 3, 65 DCR 11868.)


§ 3–663. Duties of the Director.

The Director shall:

(1) Serve as a liaison to nightlife establishments regarding District government policies and procedures, and, in that capacity:

(A) Provide information and assistance to nightlife establishments about existing District policies and procedures for responding to complaints; and

(B) Serve as a point of contact for nightlife establishments to help such establishments connect with District government agencies on matters of concern, including consumer complaints, problems with District government agencies, and obtaining relevant licenses, permits, or approvals;

(2) Advise and assist the Mayor, Council, and District government agencies with functions affecting nightlife establishments;

(3) Review information obtained from District government agencies on complaints against and citations issued to nightlife establishments and develop recommendations to address recurring problems or trends;

(4) Serve as the intermediary when any issues arise between the District government, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, residents, and nightlife establishments;

(5) Obtain and provide to the Department of Employment Services information relating to the workplace conditions of nightlife establishments;

(6) Identify practices that promote the safety and security of nightlife establishments' patrons and workers and nearby residents, and provide information to nightlife establishments on how to implement such practices;

(7) Provide information to nightlife establishments on training programs for preventing sexual harassment and assault in the workplace;

(8) Provide input to the District Department of Transportation, the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and the Office of Planning in furthering the development of accessible and safe nighttime transportation options;

(9) Provide input to the Office of Planning for the creation and preservation of creative spaces in the District;

(10) Attend Commission meetings and provide updates to the Commission on the Office's activities, and consult with the Commission on policies that affect the creative industry, including nightlife establishments and residents living near such establishments;

(11) Beginning in 2020, submit to the Mayor, Chairman of the Council, and Commission, by March 1 each year, a report detailing actions undertaken by the Office during the previous calendar year (or, in the case of the 2020 report, from the Office's establishment) and providing any recommendations the Director has pursuant to this section; and

(12) Perform other duties, consistent with the purpose of the Office, as the Commission may request.


(Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-191, § 4, 65 DCR 11868.)


§ 3–664. Commission on Nightlife and Culture.

(a) There is established a Commission on Nightlife and Culture, which shall advise the Mayor, Council, Office, and public on ways to improve laws and policies that impact nightlife establishments and residents living near such establishments by examining the following issues affecting areas with high concentrations of nightlife establishments:

(1) Common complaints;

(2) Public safety and traffic concerns;

(3) Community development concerns;

(4) Economic impact;

(5) The availability and responsiveness of the Office and relevant agencies to the concerns brought by nightlife establishments and residents; and

(6) Any other issues the Commission considers relevant.

(b)(1) The Commission shall consist of the following 8 ex officio members, or their designees:

(A) The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development;

(B) The Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs;

(C) The Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development;

(D) The Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration;

(E) The Executive Director of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities;

(F) The President of Destination DC;

(G) The President of Events DC; and

(H) The President of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership.

(2) The Commission shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council pursuant to § 1-523.01(f). Members appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall meet the following requirements:

(A) One member shall be an owner of a business holding an on-premises retailer's license pursuant to § 25-113;

(B) One member shall be a person sitting on the board of directors of a Business Improvement District, as defined in § 2-1215.02(7);

(C) One member shall be a dean, director, or equivalent position focused on student life at a District-based college or university where at least 50% of undergraduate students live in college- or university-owned, operated, or affiliated housing;

(D) One member shall be a representative of an organization that advocates for preventing sexual harassment and assault;

(E) One member shall be a District-based musician or producer working in the music industry;

(F) One member shall be a District-based artist or director in the performing arts; and

(G) One member shall be a District-based visual artist.

(c)(1) Members appointed pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section shall serve terms of 3 years, except that of the initial members, 4 shall be appointed for a term of 3 years and 3 shall be appointed for a term of 2 years. Members may be reappointed but shall not serve more than 2 consecutive full terms, including members serving in the initial 2-year term. Terms for the initial Commission members shall begin on the date that a majority of the members are sworn in, which shall become the anniversary date for all subsequent appointments.

(2) If a member appointed pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section leaves the Commission, the Mayor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Council, a successor to fill the unexpired portion of the term in accordance with § 1-523.01(f).

(3) The Mayor may remove, after notice and hearing, any member appointed pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section for neglect of duty, incompetence, misconduct, or malfeasance in office.

(d) The Mayor shall appoint the Chairperson of the Commission from among the members.

(e) All members shall serve without compensation. Expenses incurred by the Commission or by its individual members, when authorized by the Chairperson, shall become an obligation to the extent of appropriated District and federal funds designated for that purpose.

(f) The Commission shall meet at least once every 3 months. The meetings shall be held in a space provided by the District government and shall be open to the public. A quorum to transact business shall consist of a majority of the members.

(g) The Commission shall adopt rules of procedure consistent with this section.


(Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-191, § 5, 65 DCR 11868.)


§ 3–665. Rules.

The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, may issue rules to implement the provisions of this chapter.


(Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-191, § 6, 65 DCR 11868.)