Hill Diversity

Joint Center Congratulates Laphonza Butler for Pending Senate Appointment

Oct. 2, 2023
Contact: Chandra Hayslett, chandra@jointcenter.org

Joint Center Congratulates Laphonza Butler for Pending Senate Appointment

WASHINGTON — In response to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announcing he will appoint Laphonza Butler to the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s open Senate seat, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies issued the following statement:

The Joint Center congratulates Laphonza Butler for her appointment to the U.S. Senate. Butler will serve as the first Black openly LGBTQ senator and the third Black woman to serve as a U.S. Senator. Butler currently serves as president of EMILY’s List, an organization that seeks to elect pro-choice Democratic women. Butler ​​worked nearly 20 years in the labor movement, serving as the president of the SEIU local 2015, the largest union in California and the nation’s largest union for long-term care workers. As president, Butler successfully advocated for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and for giving hundreds of thousands of long-term care workers access to paid time off. Black women are over-represented among long-term care workers, representing over one in five residential long-term care workers nationwide.

“Butler’s expertise and background will provide a critical and much-needed perspective in the U.S. Senate,” said Interim President and VP, Policy Jessica Fulton. “Her experience with and commitment to advocating for the needs of women of color in the service sector and women’s rights overall provide an opportunity for the U.S. Senate to engage in more enriching and effective policy debates. Butler has been a leader for a long time, and the Joint Center looks forward to her leadership in the Senate.”

About the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, provides compelling and actionable policy solutions to eradicate persistent and evolving barriers to the full freedom of Black people in America. We are the trusted forum for leading experts and scholars to participate in major public policy debates and promote ideas that advance Black communities. We use evidence-based research, analysis, convenings, and strategic communications to support Black communities and a network of allies.