For nearly two decades, Laphonza Butler has worked to improve the lives of working families in California and across the country. She has built and led coalitions that passed monumental legislation including the first statewide $15 minimum wage in the country, an effort that won her praise from President Barack Obama.
Most recently, Laphonza served as the President of SEIU Local 2015 — which represents 378,000 caregivers and nursing home workers and is the largest union in California and the largest long-term care local in the country. She also served as an International Vice President for SEIU and the President of the California SEIU State Council, which represents over 700,000 working men and women. As President, Laphonza led the fight to end wage theft and raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles and the state to $15 an hour.
Laphonza first joined SEIU in 2001. She previously led SEIU United Long-Term Care Workers (ULTCW) and oversaw the unification of California SEIU long term care workers into SEIU Local 2015. She was also SEIU’s Property Services Division Director.
Governor Jerry Brown appointed Laphonza to the University of California Board of Regents in August 2018 for a 12-year term. She also serves as a Board Member for the National Children’s Defense Fund and the Bay Area Economic Council Institute, is a fellow for the MIT Community Innovators Lab, and formerly was Director for the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve System.
In 2016, Laphonza served as a Senior Strategic Advisor for Hillary For America during the California primary and general election.
Laphonza earned a bachelors degree in Political Science and Government from Jackson State University.