Statement on Appointment of Laphonza Butler to United States Senate

October 2, 2023

Statement by NGLCC Co-Founders Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell on Governor Newson’s Appointment of Laphonza Butler to United States Senate:

The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) celebrates California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Laphonza Butler, a longtime leader in Democratic politics, to the vacant seat of the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Butler has dedicated her life to empowering women and advocating for working people, and her appointment marks a historic moment as the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate, 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. 

Senator Butler has an impressive background in public service, having served as the former director of the Board of Governors of the LA branch of the Federal Reserve System. Former Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the University of California Board of Regents in 2018, and she served until 2021. In addition to working on Vice President Harris’ 2020 campaign, Butler has led strategy efforts for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was also president of California’s largest labor union, SEIU Local 2015, a union representing nursing home and home-care workers.

Laphonza Butler’s appointment as California’s first openly LGBTQ U.S. senator is a landmark moment for our community and a testament to the progress we continue to make in breaking barriers and advancing LGBTQ representation in politics. 

We look forward to working with Senator Butler in her new role in the United States Senate to advance equality for all and equity for America’s 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses.


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