Laphonza Butler Sworn In To Serve In U.S. Senate

October 3, 2023

For women and girls, for workers and unions, for struggling parents waiting for our leaders to bring opportunity back to their homes, for all of California, I’m ready to serve.

Former union leader Laphonza Butler after being appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as the state’s second Senator, replacing the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. On Tuesday, she was sworn in at the United States Capitol.

Big Picture: Most recently president of Emily’s List (an organization that “works to elect Democratic pro-choice women to office”), Laphonza Butler (44) is now the first openly lesbian Black woman to serve in Congress and is “the first Openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate,” a statement from Gov. Newsom’s office notes. On Tuesday, she was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris and follows in her footsteps as the second Black woman to represent CA in the Senate; VP Harris was the first.

Butler sworn in as third Black female senator in US history replaces late California Sen. Feinstein (The Associated Press)

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas