Protesters call for Islip councilwoman to step down over Facebook post

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Protesters rallying outside Islip Town Hall Tuesday called for Councilwoman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt to step down after posting what they say was an insensitive remark on her Facebook page. 

"I'm looking at warm getaways for kids February Break. I'm wondering about El Salvador, Haiti or Somalia #recommendations?"

News 12 reported on Sunday that the post sparked a backlash. Some community members called the Republican councilwoman's comments racist. Her post came after President Donald Trump reportedly made vulgar comments about "s***hole" African countries, and about immigrants from Haiti and other nations.

Bergin Weichbrodt, a former News 12 reporter, has since deleted the remark and posted a new comment that says, "I have learned that my Facebook post yesterday offended some of you. Please accept my sincere apology."

"There is no room for racism in any of our public officials. It's unconscionable," says Nancy Maia, of Bay Shore. "She should have been smarter than to even think about posting her racist comments."

During an afternoon board meeting, the Republican councilwoman spoke out on the issue for the first time – explaining that she understands the plight of immigrants. 

"I just find it unfortunate that some of the texts and comments were taken in a way that I did not intend them," said Bergin Weichbrodt.

Some residents were at Town Hall to defend the councilwoman, including Caitlin Eng – whose adopted son is Bergin Weichbrodt's godson. 

"We chose Trish to be his godmother because we knew of her integrity, her compassion, and that she's not a racist," said Eng. 

But many of the protesters say the words that were written on Facebook speak for themselves.

"I would like Trish to resign from the Town Board, and let someone who is not racist to take her place," said Maia.

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