Home Politics Laphonza Butler Becomes First Black Lesbian To Serve In The U.S. Senate

Laphonza Butler Becomes First Black Lesbian To Serve In The U.S. Senate

by Quincy Thomas
1 comment

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the appointment of Laphonza Butler, the President of EMILY’s List, the largest organization in the country committed to electing women, to serve the remaining term of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein in the United States Senate until 2024.

Butler, who has been a senior adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris for a long time, is a labor leader and advocate for women and working people. She will make history as the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate.

Additionally, she will be the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in American history, and the second Black woman to represent California in the Senate after Vice President Kamala Harris.

“An advocate for women and girls, a second-generation fighter for working people, and a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris, Laphonza Butler represents the best of California, and she’ll represent us proudly in the United States Senate,” said Governor Newsom. “As we mourn the enormous loss of Senator Feinstein, the very freedoms she fought for — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — have never been under greater assault. Laphonza will carry the baton left by Senator Feinstein, continue to break glass ceilings, and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.”

Butler hails from a working-class background. Her father, who was a small-business owner, was diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away when Butler was 16 years old. Her mother, on the other hand, took on multiple jobs such as being a classroom aide, home care provider, security guard, and bookkeeper in order to support Butler and her two siblings.

Laphonza Butler, who was the first woman of color and mother to lead EMILY’s List, will step down from her position as president of the organization with her selection to the Senate.

Prior to joining EMILY’s List, Butler gained experience running political campaigns and leading strategy efforts for various companies, organizations, and elected leaders, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Butler played a key role in Vice President Harris’s presidential campaign.

Additionally, she served as the president of SEIU Local 2015, the largest labor union in California, for over ten years. This union represents more than 325,000 nursing home and home-care workers in the state.

Before, Butler was the President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) and also held the position of SEIU’s Property Services Division Director.

In this role, she was accountable for overseeing the strategic direction of organizing efforts for over 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners, and food service workers nationwide.

Additionally, Butler served as an SEIU International Vice President and as the president of the SEIU California State Council.

Butler, who had previously served as the director of the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve System, was appointed to the University of California Board of Regents by Governor Jerry Brown in 2018. She held this position until 2021.

Additionally, she took on several other responsibilities such as being a board member for the National Children’s Defense Fund, BLACK PAC, and the Bay Area Economic Council Institute. She also worked as a fellow for the MIT Community Innovators Lab.

Butler was given the title of “Champion for Change” by President Barack Obama.

Butler earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Jackson State University. She is married to Neneki, her wife, and they have a daughter named Nylah together.

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1 comment

Ivy October 2, 2023 - 7:07 AM

Fuck all that. Is she going to do what’s best for the people?


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