Join Pasadenans Organizing for Progress for the Lifetime Achievement Award Celebration and Fundraiser, honoring Dale L. Gronemeier!
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena
Cocktails | Hors d’Oeuvres | Live Music by Guitarist Chris Volak | Keynote Address by Rick Cole
Ticket purchase includes entry in an exciting prize drawing and free drinks.
Dale’s first significant progressive activism was in 1959 when, as Illinois State University student body president, he wrote a resolution condemning loyalty oaths unanimously adopted by the National Student Association. In 1960-61, as a graduate student at Northwestern University, he organized a student forum that brought progressive speakers to campus and was the statewide director of Students for Paul Simon during his first run for the U.S. Senate. In the army from 1962-63, he organized opposition to racism at Fort Knox and, with students from the University of Louisville, a counter-Veteran’s Day parade. In the summer of 1964, he participated in the Mississippi Freedom Summer, staying in Fannie Lou Hamer’s home in Ruleville, Mississippi. From 1964-67, he was Western Regional Director of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee, organizing congressional-level committees in the rocky mountain and west coast states. From 1967-69, he taught half-time at UC Berkeley, worked towards a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, and was Vice-President of AFT Local #1572. He organized the Rhetoric Department for the union, wrote a White Paper on Racial Discrimination at UC Berkeley, whereupon his teaching position was not renewed and he did not complete the Ph.D.
Dale married the former Temetra Smith in 1966 – when their interracial marriage was illegal in 16 states. They first met in a freshman political science class in 1956 and both were interscholastic debaters at ISU; Temetra was the President of the campus chapter of the NAACP. After UC Berkeley fired Dale, they taught for 3 years in the Northern Illinois University Speech Department and worked organizing students and faculty on civil rights, anti-war, and union issues. Dale was subpoenaed by Illinois’ “little HUAC” – its Joint Legislative Commission on Campus disorders – and successfully organized opposition to its activities both on the NIU campus and statewide. In 1972, NIU did not renew the contracts of either Dale or Temetra despite a demonstration by several thousand students and faculty supporting them.
After Dale received his University of Illinois JD in 1975, the Gronemeiers moved to the Pasadena area. In 1977, Dale headed an ACLU legal team that challenged the at-large municipal elections as racially and wealth discriminatory. In 1979, Pasadena’s at-large elections caused losses to progressive candidates for City Council Lois Richard and Morris Fischer; Dale’s team challenged the at-large system for 13 Pasadena community organizations. The lawsuit was the catalyst leading to the issue being put to the voters and passing. From 1985-1989, he successfully challenged restrictive regulations at the Plaza Pasadena for community groups seeking to gather signatures. In the mid-1990s, the City of Pasadena hired Dale’s firm to challenge racial discrimination at King’s Villages. PUSD hired him at the century’s turn to steer its change from at-large elections to district elections. After Kendrec McDade was killed by Pasadena Police, Dale became active in the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police.
Dale has been an Executive Committee member of Act and its coalition-building and outreach committee chair. He was a founder of Pasadenans for a Livable Wage, which successfully lobbied for Pasadena’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, and a founding Director and Executive Committee member of its successor POP!. Representing the Altadena Library District’s Library Director, Dale’s and Skip’s public disclosure of nearly a hundred Brown Act violations was the catalyst in replacing the offending majority of the old Board with a more progressive majority – including the November 2018 election trouncing of the only openly pro-Trump public official in the Pasadena area, replacing him with a union organizer.