Before serving in her current position as President of SEIU Local 2015, Laphonza was President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW), representing 180,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers throughout California. She brings to her new role years of experience in working to improve the lives of SEIU members by successfully running strategic organizing campaigns, forming alliances with community and political allies and partnering with other unions to build worker strength.
Under her leadership, the members of SEIU ULTCW protected long term care services from devastating state budget cuts, delivered contracts with increased wages and benefits to more than 130,000 workers, and passed historic statewide legislation that will transform California’s home care program to better serve our seniors and people with disabilities for years to come.
Prior to becoming President of SEIU ULTCW, Butler served as SEIU’s Property Services Division Director and was responsible for the strategic direction of the more than 250,000 janitors, security officers, window cleaners and food service workers across the country. She was also instrumental in reaching collective bargaining agreements on behalf of 20,000 security officers in nine major cities across the United States and played a key role in the uniting of 25,000 foodservice workers in a virtually non-union industry.
In addition to her current role as President of SEIU Local 2015, Butler serves as an SEIU International Vice President, President of SEIU California State Council and co-convener of Raise the Wage – a campaign that has successfully raised the Los Angeles City minimum wage to $15 an hour. She’s also served as a Director for the Board of Governors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve System and was appointed by Senator Harry Reid to President Obama’s Long Term Care Commission.
A proud native of the south, Butler is a graduate of Jackson State University, in Jackson, Mississippi.
Kim’s experience in the labor movement began as a unit secretary at a hospital in Rhode Island where she and 1,800 colleagues organized to have a voice on the job. It was from that experience that she learned the importance of unifying with others to change workplaces and peoples’ lives. With every position she’s held since, Kim’s goal has always been to identify ways that our union can work best to empower members as leaders.
As Executive Vice President, Kim strives to unite members with Brothers and Sisters across different sectors to make positive changes for themselves, their workplace, and their communities. She believes in the importance of creating a culture where all long term care workers earn a livable wage, are able to access retirement and have a seat at the table in discussions regarding the future of long term care services.
Before serving in her current position as Executive Vice President at SEIU Local 2015, Kim held a variety of roles in SEIU, including Internal and External Organizer for an SEIU local in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Education Coordinator for SEIU International and Deputy Director of the Public Division for SEIU International. She also worked on a project that eventually evolved into SEIU’s Leaders in Action for Justice Committee, which focuses on developing leaders in our organization. As part of her work for the national union, she moved on to become the SEIU Area Director for California, and eventually took on the role of Chief of Staff at ULTCW. In 2013, she was elected as Secretary Treasurer of SEIU ULTCW.
When she’s not meeting with members or stakeholders, Kim enjoys reading, hiking and spending time with her German Shepherd at her home in Burbank, CA.
Arnulfo de la Cruz
Arnulfo has over eleven years experience working in the labor movement in California, Texas, and Washington D.C. to organize hospital workers, janitors and public employees. In his previous role as the Director of SEIU’s Immigrant Justice Campaign, Arnulfo directed the union’s efforts to secure comprehensive immigration reform that respects the contributions of immigrants, rebuilds our nation’s economy, secures equal labor and civil rights protections for workers and provides a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in our country.
In 2009, Arnulfo launched and led Mi Familia Vota California, a national non-profit working to unite the Latino community and its allies to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation. During his tenure at MFVCA, De La Cruz led efforts to expand the electorate through direct, sustainable citizenship, voter registration, census education, and GOTV, resulting in thousands of newly registered and active citizens.
The De La Cruz family tradition of fighting for civil rights and social and economic justice in California dates back to his grandmother Jessie De La Cruz, who was one of the first female leaders of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). Arnulfo was born in Oxnard, California during a strike of lemon workers, when both of his parents were organizers for UFW. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and was awarded a highly competitive Fulbright Scholarship to work and study in Mexico. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
April D. Verrett
April Verrett has served as the Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union, Healthcare Illinois and Indiana (HCII) since 2009. HCII is the largest union of healthcare workers in the Midwest, representing 92,000 hospital, nursing home, home care workers and child care providers across Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. April is also a member of the SEIU International Executive Board and serves on the national union’s Political and Government Relations, Leaders in Action for Justice and 21st Century Blueprint committees and the Racial Justice Task Force.
April was born and raised in Chicago, a union town where she developed her vision for helping working families build power in order to improve their lives and communities. She became an organizer in 2001 when she joined SEIU Local 73HC, which later became Local 20. Working hard and demonstrating leadership skills, April rose to become the local’s Organizing Director. In 2008, she played a key role in the successful merger of four healthcare unions – Locals 880, 4, 20 and 2000 – into what is now HCII, bringing together hospital, nursing home, home care workers and child care providers into one new union across the Midwest.
As a labor leader and activist, April has spent most of her career helping workers form unions. April is a tireless advocate for working people, driven by the vision that “unions give workers a platform to fight for more than wages, benefits and working conditions, but around everything that matters in our members’ lives and communities.”