The CRS strategy hinges on one important principle, however. "Embrace the event," Battles counsels. "Don't send a message out to these folks that they're not welcome."
Battles thinks Memorial Day weekend will be a "moral litmus test of tolerance" for Beach residents. (A community meeting was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Miami Beach Commission chambers, 1700 Convention Center Dr.) At the same time it will be a test for the partiers, whom he hopes won't expect to be greeted with kid gloves orbilly clubs. "The hip-hop generation is an anything-goes kind of generation," Battles notes. "My concern is that I don't want people to come to Miami Beach with some preconceived notion that [it's] going to be a lawless community. We want them to come to Miami Beach and have a good time ..."
Happiness is embracing a few hundred thousand hip-hoppers, says the Justice Department's Tom Battles (center)
He also shares an inescapable truth that's not in his guidebook. "It's great for the economy, but the residents have to suffer," Battles admits. "That's what happened in Myrtle Beach. The residents decided they were either going to go to the grocery store, get their food for the weekend and stay in, or just leave. The same thing happens in Daytona. The same thing will probably happen in Miami Beach."