EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization

September 30, 2021

Marie Claire: EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization

By: Rachel Epstein

When Laphonza Butler was presented with the opportunity to become president of EMILY's List, she thought about her 7-year-old daughter, Nylah. What could Laphonza do every morning to help create a world that her daughter wants to be a part of? “I saw [the position] as a chance to help create that future where everyone can be fair and nobody is left behind,” Butler, 42, tells Marie Claire. “EMILY's List works every day to make sure that Democratic pro-choice women are not left behind. To be able to be a part of that is what closed the deal for me—and having my daughter be excited about a new adventure.”

On September 13, EMILY's List announced Butler would succeed Stephanie Schriock to become the organization's third president in its 36-year history and the first woman of color and mother to lead it. Since Ellen Malcolm founded the organization in 1985, EMILY's List's mission has evolved from solely fundraising for Democratic pro-choice women's campaigns to recruiting and training candidates at every level across the country and mobilizing voters. Over the years, it's become clear that victories require more than money; a holistic approach within the organization is critical, especially during a time when voting rights and abortion rights are under attack, to make sure candidates have the resources they need to win.

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