Local Activists Honored for Achievements by Progressive Discussion Group

2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards2016 Progressive Awards

By BRANDON VILLALOVOS

5:54 am | January 9, 2017


Two local civil rights activists were honored Friday morning by Pasadena’s Progressive Discussion Group.

The group, which meets twice a month and attracts local intellectuals and thoughtful citizens to discuss pressing social justice topics, bestowed its 2016 Progressive Award upon group founder Reverend Inman Moore and Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network Pablo Alvarado.

Moore started the group in 2002 after decades of grassroots activism that stems from his time in Mississippi, where as a young Methodist minister he signed a statement with other pastors supporting racial integration, and then suffered racist repression.

“One of the important things that happened today is the feeling that we have a discussion group in Pasadena who meets with no agenda other than to discuss issues and to see how we can continue in being progressive in a country like ours who continues to sometimes make progress slow,” said Pasadena Discussion Group founder and 2016 Progressive Lifetime Achievement awardee Reverend Inman Moore.

Group members described Moore as being known and respected for many years in Pasadena as a compassionate and progressive preacher, teacher, and activist.

“We’ve had some good times in this group where we’ve discussed anything and everything. Everybody has their own opinion. We call ourselves a Progressive Discussion Group, but we’re not limited to anybody of any political party, or no party, who want to come and discuss issues,” said Moore.

“It’s been an interesting and happy experience in putting it together and carrying it along,” said Moore.
Attorney and group member Dale Gronemeier will be taking over Moore’s position as the group moderator as of 2017.

“It doesn’t itself take action, endorse candidates or endorse measures. It is a place for progressives to come and talk and exchange views on relevant issues. It’s been a place for thoughtful dialogue for fifteen years,” said Gronemeier.

Last year the Group began a new tradition of recognizing a Progressive of the Year; Occidental Professor Peter Dreier was given the award for the 2015 Progressive of the Year—a tradition the Group began last year.

“It’s kind of a free-for-all for people who like politics,” said Dreier who earned last year’s award for his intellectual and organizational leadership in the successful campaign for a Pasadena minimum wage ordinance with a path to $15/hour.

Dreier presented Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, with the 2016 Progressive of the Year Award.

“I’m honored for the recognition. My job is to make sure that people that I work with]h have a say in the political process. I don’t do it to get awards or recognitions—it’s a way of life for me. I have learned from a very early age that justice is a beautiful thing to support anywhere you are,” said Alvarado who was described by Time Magazine as the “Caesar Chavez for day laborers”.

Both Moore and Alvarado received a special recognition from a representative of Assemblyman Chris Holden’s office at the breakfast ceremony to congratulate their efforts within the Pasadena community and beyond.

“I think that being a Progressive is a cool thing because Progressive stands for equality, for justice and to make sure that vulnerable people have access to the institutions that are supposed to administer justice,” said Alvarado.

The Progressive Discussion Group meets the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month to discuss a designated topic in the back room of Du-Par’s Restaurant & Bakery, located at 214 S Lake Ave, Pasadena.

Meetings are open to anyone wanting to attend. DuPar’s issues separate checks to attendees, so you can have coffee, breakfast, or just thoughtful discussion of progressive issues.