California Educators Celebrate Governor Newsom’s Historic Appointment of Laphonza Butler to the United States Senate

Butler makes history as powerful California labor leader, President of EMILYs List, and the first African American and LGBTQ+ female Senator from California

BURLINGAME – California Teachers Association President David B. Goldberg issued the following statement today on Governor Newsom’s appointment of California Labor leader and women’s rights advocate Laphonza Butler to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the passing of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“Educators praise the historic appointment of Laphonza Butler to represent California in the United States Senate. She becomes the third Black woman in our history to serve in that body, and the second from California, following Vice President Kamala Harris. Butler is also the first LGBTQ+ Senator from California and the first Black lesbian to serve in the Senate.

“CTA is proud to have worked with Laphonza Butler over recent years as a strong and impactful union organizer and labor leader representing health care workers and public employees. As a leader with SEIU, she fought for an increased minimum wage, to ensure workers had a voice in elections, and for the wealthiest Californians to pay their fair share in taxes. Serving the past two years as president of EMILYs List, she was the first Black woman leading that organization.

“We are looking forward to working with Laphonza Butler – a phenomenal and proven young leader – as she embarks on this new and historic opportunity, and partnering with her to strengthen public education in her new role in Washington D.C. On a personal note, I’m grateful to witness this powerful step forward for Laphonza and all working people. She’s a true change-maker and a strong champion of labor unions and public schools.

“CTA members welcome having an ally for working people, for women’s rights, and for the LGBTQ+ community in the Senate as we continue to fight for equity and equality for all individuals. We congratulate Senator Butler on this historic and well-deserved appointment.”


310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.