Elle: EMILYs List President Laphonza Butler Opens Up About The Midterm Elections And Working For Kamala Harris
By: Madison Feller
In ELLE.com’s monthly series Office Hours, we ask people in powerful positions to take us through their first jobs, worst jobs, and everything in between. This month, we spoke with Laphonza Butler, who recently became the first woman of color to lead EMILYs List, the powerful political action committee that works to elect pro-choice women into office. Butler is a longtime organizer who, at 30 years old, became the president of SEIU Local 2015, the country’s largest home care workers union and California’s biggest union. She’s also a political consultant and strategist who served as a senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign. Now she’ll be helming EMILYs List at a particularly precarious time for Democrats, as abortion rights continue to be threatened across the country and an all-important midterm cycle looms near. “I come to this very clear-eyed about what is probable,” Butler tells ELLE.com. In the organization’s 36-year history, she is also the first mother to be president of EMILYs List. “Just because something is hard and you know that it’s going to be hard, that is all the more reason to lean into it and make a difference for the people whose lives are on the line.” Ahead, Butler shares more about how she’s approaching the 2022 elections, the biggest career lesson she learned from Harris, and the worst advice she’s ever received.
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