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Party promoters to be licensed, council member says

Planning a party? You'll soon have to be registered to do so, according to one city councilmember.
Planning a party? You'll soon have to be registered to do so, according to one city councilmember.Reginald Johnson, Examiner

New legislation was introduced in the D.C. City Council chambers that would require party promoters to be licensed through the District's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (DCABC).

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (Ward 1) introduced the legislation do to three nightclub events that ended in violence over recent months. The bill has been cosponsored by Anita Bonds (At-Large) and mayoral candidate Jack Evans (Ward 2).

Presently bars and nightclubs are regulated through ABC, but individual party promoters who doesn't have any direct ties to the businesses where the event is held doesn't have to answer to anyone.

The Washington Times reported:

"Licensing promoters will give the ABC board the authority it needs to monitor promoters and to stop bad promoters from operating," said Mr. Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, as he introduced the legislation Tuesday.

The new legislations guidelines would require:

  • pay a $250 license fee.
  • promoters would be required to take training classes held by the city
  • maintain personal liability umbrella insurance with a minimum liability limit of $3 million

As Graham spoke on the need for changes, he cited two separate promoter-organized events where two men were killed and a third event where multiple people were stabbed and police officers were assaulted.

And The Times continued:

One of the incidents was the November 2011 fatal shooting of 34-year-old Jhonte Coleman outside the Heritage India restaurant in Dupont Circle.

Promoters Mel Productions had organized a late-night party at the restaurant, but the event had to be shut down after several fights broke out. The altercations turned into a deadly melee outside the restaurant, with Coleman killed and six others injured — either stabbed, shot or beaten.

It was referred to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs.