Senator Marco Rubio is losing his lease on a satellite office he operates in Jacksonville, Florida. Rubio’s office shared space with a pediatric behavioral health center, i.e. an office treating children with mental health issues. The noise created by the protests became too much for the health center so Rubio was asked to vacate. From the Florida Times-Union:
His landlord in Jacksonville has decided not to renew his month-to-month lease, citing daily protests outside the office, according to Rubio’s spokeswoman, Christina Mandreucci…
Rubio has until April 30 to leave his office at the Dupont Center on the Southbank. Mandreucci said that the office, located at 1650 Prudential Drive, is next to a pediatric behavioral clinic and that played a part in the landlord choosing not to renew the lease.
Rubio spokeswoman, Christina Mandreucci told the Tampa Bay Times, “In Jacksonville, these protestors weren’t just impacting our two person office, they were impacting the children being served next door at a pediatric behavioral clinic, which is why we understand the decision not to renew our lease.” She continued, “Our Tampa and Jacksonville offices are not political or campaign offices. They are small, two person offices that help Floridians in the region with issues such as Medicare, Social Security and veterans benefits.” Mandreucci says the Senator is seeking new office space in the area.
Last week, Sen. Rubio lost his lease at a satellite office in Tampa for similar reasons, i.e. other tenants in the building complained about noise and the main entrance being blocked by protesters.
Jeff Allstadt, one of the organizers of the protest group in Jacksonville, claims his group is not the problem. “We pride ourselves on being respectful,” he tells the Florida Times-Union. He says the noise is created by pro-Trump protesters across the street who use a bullhorn. But a story published last week by Clay Today suggests the protest group is generating plenty of noise on its own [emphasis added]:
[Jeff Allstadt] stood in front of Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s Jacksonville office on Tuesday morning along with approximately 50 other protestors who are worried about the same. Drivers honk and wave at the protestors to show their support and a police officer sits in his patrol car to referee the protest a block down from the senator’s office on Prudential Drive…
The group perched in front of Rubio’s office chants slogans while a woman bangs on a bucket to keep the beat.
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the honking horns, chanting and banging buckets might have been part of the problem.