Meet the family of Laphonza Butler, the newly elected California senate. Who are her father, mother, daughter, and partner? Here is what we’ve discovered about them.
So tag along and read all about them.
Meet Laphonza Butler Family
Laphonza Butler was born to her working-class parents in Magnolia, Mississippi as the youngest of three children (has two brothers). She stated that her family didn’t “talk about elections or politics at the dinner table, but we were the family that talked about what it meant to be in service to others” in an interview with Elle Magazine in 2021.
Laphonza’s career began in 2009, working as an organizer for long-term care workers with SEIU. She moved quickly through the ranks of the caregivers union to become its head, and in 2013 he was chosen to lead SEIU California, the state’s largest labor organization, which represents more than 700,000 workers. She oversaw SEIU’s campaign to increase California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour while holding that post. This effort was the product of contentious discussions between Butler and Gov. Jerry Brown’s chief of staff Nancy McFadden.
“We were both working for the people of California,” Laphonza shared in the Political Breakdown interview. “She represented way more than I did. But we all came into rooms of tension and disagreement and negotiation with Californians in mind and the best for Californians.”
When Laphonza became the president of EMILY’s List in 2021, her family relocated from Los Angeles to work in Washington, D.C. Butler is presently registered in Maryland. Before she is sworn in, according to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office, she will re-register in California, where she still has a home.
Governor Newsom’s office announced late Sunday that Laphonza, a longtime Democratic advisor and labor leader, will be the state of California’s next senator. She will be only the third Black woman and second openly lesbian senator in history. Sen. Dianne Feinstein passed away on Thursday at the age of 90, leaving a vacancy in her position.
Laphonza, the current head of the pro-choice women’s fundraising organization EMILY’S List, will take her place. She has counseled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Kamala Harris, and she is well connected to Newsom’s inner group.
“An advocate for women and girls, a second-generation fighter for working people, and a trusted adviser to Vice President Harris, Laphonza Butler represents the best of California, and she’ll represent us proudly in the United States Senate,” Gavin said in a written statement. “As we mourn the enormous loss of Senator Feinstein, the very freedoms she fought for — reproductive freedom, equal protection, and safety from gun violence — have never been under greater assault. Laphonza will carry the baton left by Senator Feinstein, continue to break glass ceilings, and fight for all Californians in Washington D.C.”
One of her brothers is likely named Olan Butler and Gideon Butler.
Laphonza Butler Father
Laphonza Butler shared during her interviews that her late father was a small business owner. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Laphonza’s father sadly passed away when she was 16 years of age.
Laphonza Butler Mother
After Laphonza Butler’s father’s death, her mother reportedly became a breadwinner for the family. When her husband got sick, her life was not very easy for her.
“My life was really lived through the eyes of a caregiver,” Laphonza told KQED of her upbringing. “My mother was my father’s caregiver in the last years of his life, and having to understand what families every day go through when it comes to issues like health care…really was the precursor to my professional career.”
To raise her three children, Laphonza’s mother worked as a classroom aide, a home care provider, a security guard, and a bookkeeper.
In September 2021, Laphonza tweeted, “I am driven by my mother’s example & my daughter’s future. My mother worked several jobs, raising me & my brothers and taking care of my father through serious illnesses. During 18 years working with & leading unions, I often thought of my mother’s hard work & her sacrifice.”
In another tweet from November 2021, she wrote, “From a young age, I saw the sacrifice of women like my mother who provided this invaluable care for my father as he was sick. Caregivers across the country are doing work that is significantly undervalued.”
Who Is Laphonza Butler Partner?
Neneki Lee is the partner of Laphonza Butler. The married couple has been together at least since 2009. However, they intend to keep their personal life details away from the public eye.
Neneki Lee, who was born in April 1974, is 49 years old. Per her LinkedIn, is working as a National Division Director – Public Services at SEIU. She began her job in November 1997.
According to the website, Neneki is the Director of the SEIU Public Services Division. Actually, Lee and Laphonza Butler first met in Washington, DC, at the SEIU headquarters. The Service Employees International Union, sometimes known as SEIU, is a labor union that represents about two million members spread out across the United States and Canada in over 100 different occupations. Prior to that, she was employed by the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions as a national coordinator. From 1991 until 1994, Neneki attended Spelman College. She attended Scripps College to study government and political science.
Laphonza Butler Daughter
Laphonza Butler and her partner Neneki are parents to one daughter Nylah, who is 8 years old.
Where Does Laphonza Butler Family Live?
Laphonza Butler’s family appears to be residing in Mississippi.
Are Laphonza Butler Family Members On Social Media?
Only Laphonza Butler’s partner appears to be on social media. Here is her Facebook.