VETERANS DAY PARADE
The San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade Committee is proud to announce our
2016 Grand Marshal
Judge Pregerson is also a tireless advocate for the homeless in Los Angeles County, particularly veterans and families. Working with the Salvation Army and U.S. Vets, Pregerson has overseen the construction of shelters, transitional housing, and child development centers throughout Los Angeles. Judge Pregerson continues to work closely with these facilities, which provide shelter, treatment, training, and hope for thousands of homeless men, women, and children.
Judge Harry Pregerson was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from Belvedere Junior High School in 1938 and from Roosevelt High School in 1941 where he was elected Student Body President. He enrolled at UCLA, and joined the Navy NROTC Program and served in the Marine Corps during World War II. In May 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa he sustained severe gunshot wounds through both thighs. In 1947 he attended UC Berkeley Law School on the GI Bill, graduating in 1950. Pregerson practiced law in Van Nuys, where he and his wife, Bern, a microbiology professor at Pierce College, raised their two children, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson and dermatologist Dr. Katie Rodan.
Judge Pregerson has served on the state and federal bench for over 50 years. Governor Pat Brown appointed him to the L.A. Municipal Court in 1965, then to the Superior Court in 1966. In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Pregerson to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. President Jimmy Carter elevated him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1979.
Judge Pregerson has dedicated much of his life to helping under-served members of our society. As a district judge, he structured a consent decree that created thousands of affordable housing units for those displaced by the I-105 Century Freeway. The Century Housing program also created training and employment programs for women and minorities and established child care centers to serve the local population. The interchange of the 110 and 105 freeways was named the “Judge Harry Pregerson Interchange” in recognition of his service.
Judge Pregerson later played a key role in protecting public health when he ordered the City of Los Angeles to stop dumping sewage sludge into Santa Monica Bay. He ordered full secondary treatment for all wastewater, and was affectionately dubbed the “Sludge Judge” for his efforts to modernize the Hyperion Treatment Plant. The new plant, which helped revitalize marine life in the Santa Monica bay, was named one of the Top Ten Public Works Projects of the Twentieth Century, along with the Hoover Dam, Panama Canal, and Golden Gate Bridge.