Laphonza Butler was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to replace longtime Senator Dianne Feinstein who died last week at the age of 90. Butler is the first Black lesbian to serve in Congress and the first openly LGBTQ senator from California.
In 2021 Butler became the President of EMILY’s List, which works to elect Democratic women. She led SEIU Local 2015, the largest labor union in California.
Butler has also been a member of the University of California Board of Regents and the director of public policy and campaigns in North America for Airbnb.
Butler lives in Maryland but says she plans to switch her voter registration.