Gov. Gavin Newsom has picked Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist who rose to prominence in the labor movement, to fill the Senate seat held by Dianne Feinstein, who died Friday at age 90.
The pick fulfills the governor’s pledge to appoint a Black woman while rejecting calls for him to tap Rep. Barbara Lee, a prominent Black congresswoman from Oakland who is running for the position in the 2024 election.
Butler, 44, is the president of Emily’s List, a national political organization that focuses on electing Democratic women who support abortion access. She has deep experience in Democratic politics, having previously served as president of a powerful labor union and as an advisor to Kamala Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign.
Laphonza Butler is an American labor leader and social justice advocate. She has been an influential figure in labor and workers’ rights, particularly in the healthcare sector.
Laphonza Butler has held various significant positions in the labor movement. Notably, she was the President of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 2015, a large labor union representing home care and nursing home workers in California. Under her leadership, the union worked towards improving wages, working conditions, and healthcare access for its members.
In addition to her work in labor advocacy, Butler has been involved in various social and political causes, especially those related to healthcare, workers’ rights, and social justice. She has been recognized for her efforts in advocating for fair wages and better working conditions for workers in low-wage industries.
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