NYC Councilman Slams 'Racist' Cabaret Law, Proposes Nightlife Task Force & 'Night Mayor'

New York City skyline photographed on Sept. 8, 2016 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New York City skyline photographed on Sept. 8, 2016 in New York City. 

Since 1926, the Cabaret Law in New York City has made dancing in most bars technically illegal. Often referred to as the “No Dancing Law,” it prohibits musical entertainment and dancing in businesses that don't hold a cabaret license.

City Council member Rafael Espinal, 33, says the law is racist and unjustly allows police officers the chance to reprimand and close down venues that would otherwise be minding their own business.

“It is ridiculous that in NYC dancing is just as illegal as it was in the fictional movie Footloose,” Espinal is quoted telling NYC's CBS 2. “While there is no Kevin Bacon here to take on the fictional City Council of Bomont, there are thousands of advocates here today trying to do away with this antiquated and discriminatory law in the name of social justice.”

Espinal has proposed new legislation that would create a nightlife task force to tackle the issue, headed by a so-called “night mayor.” The proposition is supported by Bronx Councilman Richie Torres and others. Read the full story at


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