New Jersey school board official Gregory Martucci has received a “no confidence” vote from his fellow board members after calling Vice President Kamala Harris a “streetwalker” on Facebook and then apologizing for it.
“She is right off the wingnut streets of San Francisco what do you expect from a streetwalker who has no clue about America,” Martucci allegedly responded to a post on Facebook by conservative comedian Terence K. Williams on Harris and the topic of immigration.
The school board official quickly backtracked after receiving backlash over the harsh remark.
“I would ask the public to be open to my heartfelt apology,” Martucci reportedly followed up in a message Wednesday morning. “This was an offensive comment which does not reflect who I am in both my private and public lives. My actions to this point have always reflected positive support for all women and for all cultures. I assure [you] that I will continue to support all women and all cultures. I would ask each of you to be receptive to my public apology and sincere regret for this injurious comment. There will be no further explanation or comment from me.”
The vote at the school board meeting in Linden was 4-2 with two abstentions against Martucci on Thursday night, according to My Central Jersey. Some who attended the meeting called for him to step down as well. Martucci was at the meeting but did not comment on the proceedings.
“She is right off the wingnut streets of San Francisco. What do you expect from a street walker who has no clue about America,” Gregory A. Martucci, member of the Linden Board of Ed. "A demeaning, thing to say about a woman, especially who's Vice President of the United States!👎 pic.twitter.com/YAfmrQqtOk
— Sumner (@diamondlass99) June 24, 2021
Martucci received massive backlash for the comment against Harris from Linden Mayor Derek Armstead and others, who lambasted him for the slur.
“I mean, what message are you sending to our young people? That Kamala Harris is a ‘wingnut’ or a streetwalker, which essentially means prostitute. Let’s clear the air here,” the mayor stated. “I will do everything humanly possible to make sure that we don’t have people who think that way on our boards who represent our children and represent the city.”
Armstead took it even further. When asked if Martucci should step down, he was emphatic: “Yes, I’ll help him leave.”
Community activist Cleadel Waye waded in and castigated the school board official over his Harris comments: “He degraded her, for what purpose? For what reason?” Waye angrily asked. “For me as a woman of color, as a black woman, as an African-American, I find it very upsetting. I don’t take it lightly because words do matter.”
School board president Carlos Rivas slammed Martucci’s comments: “It was very disheartening to see the negative comments made by (Martucci) on social media,” Rivas remarked in an emailed statement. “In no way, shape or form (do) I support his comments and opinions. I pride myself on respect, equality, and inclusivity, and the misogynistic slurs Mr. Martucci spread across social media are unacceptable in my opinion. We’ve come too far to display such a lack of respect for women.”
The matter is now reportedly under review according to Linden Schools Superintendent Marnie Hazleton but they have no comment at this time.
Martucci is a retired school administrator and teacher. He served as a Democrat member of the City Council from 1992-94 and was elected to the school board in 2019.
When asked if he planned to voluntarily resign, Martucci curtly responded “no comment.”
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