Laphonza Butler is a Director at Airbnb. She was President of SEIU Local 2015, a union representing more than 325,000 nursing home and home-care workers throughout California. SEIU Local 2015 is the largest union in California and the largest long-term care local in the country.
Previously, Ms. Butler served for seven years as President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) and also as SEIU's Prperty Services Division Director in which she was responsible for the strategic direction of the more than 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners, and food service workers across the country.
Ms. Butler also serves as an SEIU International Vice President and President of the SEIU California State Council. Additionally, she 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.
Jackson State University Bachelor of Arts (BA), Political Science and Government. 1997 – 2001.
November 2019, as the California senator crisscrosses the country trying to revive her sputtering presidential bid, aides at her fast-shrinking headquarters are deep into the finger-pointing stages. And much of the blame is being placed on campaign manager Juan Rodriguez.
After Rodriguez announced dozens of layoffs and re-deployments in late October to stem overspending, three more staffers at headquarters here were let go and another quit in recent days.
Amid the turmoil, some aides have gone directly to campaign chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, and argued that Rodriguez needs to be replaced if Harris has any hope of a turnaround, according to two officials.
“It’s a campaign of id,” said one senior Harris official, laying much of the blame on Rodriguez, but also pointing to a leaderless structure at the top that’s been allowed to flail without accountability. “What feels right, what impulse you have right now, what emotion, what frustration,” the official added. The person described the current state of the campaign in blunt terms: “No discipline. No plan. No strategy.”
The internal strife is the latest discouraging development for Harris’ once-encouraging candidacy. She has slid into low single digits and is now banking on a top-tier performance in Iowa to pull her back into contention. Inside the campaign, which had already experienced staff shakeups before the layoffs, rank and file aides are fed up with the weak leadership and uncertainty around internal communication, planning and executing on a clear vision. They say the constant shifting has eroded trust in the upper ranks.
While staff ire centers on Rodriguez, his defenders argue he has stood loyally by the candidate despite being relegated to a role akin to deputy campaign manager to Maya Harris. They say he’s had to get Maya Harris’ buy-in even on routine decisions, which were often slow to materialize, further undermining staff’s confidence in him as a supervisor.
During a recent meeting, aides pressed Rodriguez and Maya Harris for answers about campaign strategy. At one point during the more than two-hour discussion, Maya Harris herself turned to Rodriguez and challenged him in front of about 20 staffers, and several more listening in by phone. Rodriguez seemed unprepared for the exchange, according to people present. They walked out with little consensus about how to prioritize upcoming events and strategy around advertising.
Still, others point to Rodriguez’s constant yielding to Maya Harris as a reason he should be held accountable for the campaign's failures. “It was his decision,” another aide said of the fraying pact, adding there were opportunities for him to take control. “He chose to defer to Maya.”
The unorthodox composition of the campaign is further complicated by other factors. Rodriguez’s California business partners — Ace Smith, Sean Clegg and Laphonza Butler — are senior Harris advisers atop a flat leadership structure that includes just a few other outside voices, including ad maker Jim Margolis, pollster David Binder and Maya Harris. Critics of the arrangement say it has contributed to an insular culture and reinforced the business partners’ long-term obligations to one another.
Hillary for America
Laphonza Butler was a Senior Advisor Hillary for America, May 2016 – Nov 2016.
October 19, 2017 Gala
- Standing Up for Justice Award - Rep. Maxine Waters
- Community in Action Awards - Luisa Blue, External Vice President Service Employees International Union, Jeanette Vazquez, Fullerton School Board Member
- Dreamer in Action Awards - Sameerah Haque, Hyun Joong Kim, Eric Yang
Here to stay rally
Rally and musical and art performances on Saturday, January 14, 2017, starting at 11 a.m. at 501 North Main St, 90012, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes next to La Placita, Los Angeles.
Join us to stand up for the values of love, compassion and family as we begin a campaign of righteous resistance. We will join hands and stand together to oppose criminalization, mass deportations, and hate crimes. We are #HereToStay and we shall not be moved.
Speakers include: California State Controller Betty Yee; Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez; Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer, City of Los Angeles; Angelica Salas, CHIRLA; Rusty Hicks, LAC Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Laphonza Butler, SEIU; Arlene Inouye, UTLA; and Tom Steyer, Next Gen Climate.
Hosted by (partial list):
African Coalition, Black Immigrant Network (BIN), Bend the Arc, California Dream Network (CDN), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Center for Community Change (CCC), Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Human Rights Campaign, Korean Resource Center (KRC), Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Mi Familia Vota National Immigration Law Center, NextGen California, SEIU California, SEIU 721, SEIU 2015, SEIU UHWW, SEIU USWW, UCLA Dream Center, UNITE HERE, UTLA
Saturday, April 9th, 2011, at the Japanese American National Museum, 369 East 1st St., Los Angeles, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance held a hearing on the the stories and testimonies of Asian Pacific American workers and their struggles to organize. Features panels on healthcare, immigrant rights, and the involvement of youth in the labor movement. The event included performances by Progressive Taiko and KIWA’s Cultural Resistance Committee drumming group.
- Congresswoman Judy Chu
- Laphonza Butler (SEIU ULTCW, President)
- Gregory Cendana (APALA, Executive Director)
- Kent Wong (UCLA Labor Center, Director)