Nearly thirteen years ago, a good cop (yeah I know, hard to believe, from May 1998 Paul Swiatko SFPD*82 was willing to be just that for us) tells me that my husband and I, then only at the beginning of a quixotic tilt at the most powerful, and no doubt the most arrogant, public employee union in town, that we were being described as “politically red-hot”. He told me this, as way of encouragement, I would suppose, continuing with a quasi-explanation “that maybe my husband and I were the clog that would break down the machine”. “Nah,” I replied, “we’re just two radioactive ants trying to get through to the other side.” He gave me a smile I doubt I’ll ever get over. Still takes my call. Continues to tell me that my journal (only December 1997-May1998) is still in the bottom of his locker waiting for someone official to come along and ask for it. Now, after nearly thirteen savage years on the losing end of a prima facie case of municipal racketeering with that unholy trinity of Louise Renne, Katherine Feinstein and Kamala Harris, here is the story of living thru ridicule and attack, nonetheless signing a settlement with the firefighters’ union, though all the while, our then-young children were being held as political hostages in an illegal civil custody 10 July 1998 thru 11 June 2001, denied the right to travel, to return to family and land in Louisiana, so as to pursue the interests of justice & diversity of jurisdiction (mostly) from a safe harbor…I’d tell Paul that we are, by now, to say the least, a neutron bomb.
I breathe fear on every intake, it has replaced oxygen. I thank God I am a Christian and remain confident that all this is His will, not mine. All that has befallen me & mine, He has allowed for a greater purpose. We are His. All is well, blessed be. He knows what He is doing even if I don’t always.
I’ve written a book about the civil rights horror show that our family was caught up in, and did so using relatively few of my words to do so but nearly all of theirs. That is, their words literally, lifted right out of their files, that hard-won trophy of three very, very dirty trials and a futile concurrent appeal…I’ve got more of the City’s own hard paper than you can begin to imagine, fought a legion of the City’s best dogs-of-war to get it. I assure you I can back up every word I say with paper. Their paper, signed & dated by supervisors, approved all the way up the food chain.
And it tracks back to the original civil action: Mayon & Mayon v IAFF local #798 and that sacred cow, Firefighters’ Toy Program and the late John Voelker, settled out-of-court for their first offer of $6000 because it included a mutual stay-away order 6/12 July 1999 (attorney Steven Bouvarnick) for nothing less than theft of U.S. mail and sabotage. Imagine that, a successful case brought against Willie Brown’s machine-in-their-glory-days. Sure I can back up every allegation I’m making but what I can really back up is this bad attitude I’ve acquired as a direct result of this war. I am beyond fury. We’ve been at this so long every cell in our body has changed from the mild, quiet, peaceful people we were in 1997.