Special to the Vanguard
Sacramento, CA – Civic leaders from across the nation are praising Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Laphonza Butler to the United States Senate. Butler will be sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday.
Butler, a longtime labor leader and advocate for women and working people, will be the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate. She will also be the first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress in American history and the second Black woman to represent California in the Senate following Vice President Kamala Harris.
“I’m honored to accept Governor Newsom’s appointment to be U.S. Senator for a state I have made my home and honored by his trust in me to serve the people of California and this great nation,” said Senator Designate Butler. “No one will ever measure up to the legacy of Senator Dianne Feinstein, but I will do my best to honor her legacy and leadership by committing to work for women and girls, workers and unions, struggling parents, and all of California. I am ready to serve.”
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Senate Democrats are delighted to welcome Laphonza Butler. She joins the Senate at a key time in our nation’s history. I’m confident that her breadth of work, acumen, and public service will meet this moment. I look forward to Senator-designate Butler’s swearing-in this week.”
California Senator Alex Padilla added, “Throughout her career, Laphonza Butler has been a strong voice for working families, LGBTQ rights, and a champion for increasing women’s representation in politics. I’m honored to welcome her to the United States Senate. Governor Newsom’s swift action ensures that Californians maintain full representation in the Senate as we navigate a narrow Democratic Majority. I look forward to working together to deliver for the people of California.”
Former Speaker Pelosi called her, “A lifelong champion for women and girls and working families, Senator-designate Butler will be effective from the start in delivering for the people of California.”
“The NAACP is proud to congratulate Laphonza Butler on her well deserved appointment to serve as the first Black, openly LGBTQ+ Senator. It is only right that a Black woman who has paved the way for countless others to lead is now given an opportunity to lead herself,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson.
They added, “We look forward to supporting the future Senator as she makes strides in the halls of Congress. One thing is clear—Black women are supreme.”
SEIU Secretary-Treasurer April Verrett said, “For over 20 years I’ve watched Laphonza Butler up close. I’ve strategized with her. I’ve led with her. I’ve learned from her. She’ll be a great addition to the US Senate. For workers. For women. For Californians. Great choice, Gavin Newsom.”
“Congratulations Laphonza Butler on your historic Senate appointment. Welcome to the California Delegation! The CLBC looks forward to working with you to improve the lives of all Californians!” added the California Legislative Black Caucus.
NAACP California Hawaii State President Rick L. Callender said, “We congratulate Laphonza Butler on her Senate appointment and look forward to the work she will accomplish as the first LGBTQ+ person to represent California and the only Black woman in the chamber. We commend Gov. Newsom for addressing Senate representation gaps and eagerly support our future Senator in her congressional journey.”
SEIU California Executive Director Tia Orr added, “Today Gavin Newsom again made history by appointing Laphonza Butler to the U.S. Senate. As we mourn the loss of a true trailblazer in Senator Feinstein, the Governor’s appointment of a Black, LGBTQ+ woman is a powerful demonstration of our state’s commitment to equity and representation. HUGE congrats to my sister Laphonza Butler: SEIU members and all working families look forward to seeing you shake things up on Capitol Hill!!”
Stacey Abrams said, “Extraordinarily proud of Laphonza Butler—a stalwart for women, workers, the disadvantaged and those in search of a better life. She understands the contours of power and knows that when shared, it multiplies. She’s the right choice at the right time.”
Martin Luther Kings III said, “As the first Black woman to serve as President of Emily’s List, Laphonza Butler has shown her strength and determination in leading the fight to restore reproductive freedom and elect women to Congress.”
He added, “Representation matters to girls like my daughter who can see themselves in the Senate. It matters to LGBTQ people who are forced to face and fight bigotry every day. It matters to union workers who will now be represented by an SEIU member.”
Kelly Robinson of the Human Rights Campaign stated, “The appointment of Laphonza Butler to the United States Senate is a milestone in the fight for justice and liberation. The first Black lesbian to openly serve in Congress, Laphonza will bring a compelling voice for abortion rights, the labor movement and civil rights to Congress.”
Equality California said, “Laphonza Butler is eminently qualified to represent California well in the United States Senate and we are thrilled to congratulate her. This historic appointment by Governor Newsom will give our LGBTQ+ community another voice in Congress at a time when our rights and freedoms are under attack across the country. We look forward to working with Laphonza as she steps into this new role and continues her lifelong fight for our shared values of equity, freedom, and justice for all.”
Moms Demand Action Executive Director Angela Ferrell-Zabala said: “Laphonza Butler is an incredible leader and a fierce advocate for women and girls. I’m thrilled to watch her make history as the first Black lesbian senator to openly serve in Congress. Moms Demand can’t wait to work with her to continue California’s leadership on gun safety!”