Long-time Pasadena area activist Dale Gronemeier was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Pasadenans Organizing for Progress, POP!, on September 21st at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church. Over a hundred friends, colleagues, and community leaders filled the room in honor of his 60 years of activism in civil rights and liberties.
He parted from his Republican background in college as a progressive activist to write the National Student Association’s resolution condemning the loyalty oath, organized opposition to racism at Ft. Knox where he was posted in the Army, and in the summer of 1964, joined Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee members in the Mississippi Freedom Summer to register voters.
After he moved to the Pasadena area in 1975, opening his law firm in Eagle Rock, he headed an ACLU SoCal legal team in 1979 that successfully challenged Pasadena’s at-large election system on behalf of 13 community organization, bringing about the current district representatives City Council.
Gronemeier, a long-time member and leader of ACT, a Pasadena non-partisan progressive electoral body, most recently has been involved with the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police/CICOPP, following the death of Kendrec McDade at the hands of Pasadena police. He was a founding member of the Pasadenans for a Livable Wage which successfully lobbied for Pasadena’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, and became a founder of its successor, POP!.
Local political leaders attending the event included Congresswoman Judy Chu, State Senator Anthony Portantino, former Pasadena Mayor Rick Cole, current Mayor Terry Tornek, and Councilmembers John Kennedy and Andy Wilson.