Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program Statement on Laphonza Butler’s Appointment to U.S. Senate

October 4, 2023

Butler served as a Job Quality Fellow from 2017-2018

Contact: Lizette Olmos Godfrey
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, October 4, 2023 – The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program extends its best wishes to Laphonza Butler upon her appointment to the U.S. Senate. Butler, who was sworn in on Tuesday to represent California, was a Job Quality Fellow with the Economic Opportunities Program from 2017 to 2018. Fellows are selected as part of a competitive application process.

As part of the Economic Opportunities Program, The Aspen Job Quality Fellowship brings together leaders from differing lines of work, in communities across the country, who are working to expand the availability of better-quality jobs.

“Laphonza was one of the inaugural members of our Job Quality Fellowship, a program that assembles leaders from business, labor, nonprofits, the public sector, and more to address the crisis of unsustainable work, focusing on practical solutions to improve job quality and equity in today’s economy,” said Maureen Conway, Vice President, Aspen Institute and Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. “Laphonza understands at a human level the importance of job quality to people’s lives and the central role good jobs play in enabling individuals, families, and communities to thrive. We look forward to having such a strong voice for good jobs on the national stage.”

As part of the fellows’ program, Butler participated in a Q and A for the EOP program in which she shared the importance of job quality. “Job quality speaks to how we consider the worker as a whole person – ensuring that workers have dignity and respect in the workplace, that they have a voice on the job, and that their opinions and expertise are valued. A quality job allows workers to provide for their families, save for their retirement in comfort, and have confidence in the contributions they have made to their community,” Butler said.

Job Quality Fellows work on identifying and developing strategies that strengthen and expand the availability of high-quality jobs in our economy and ensure equitable access to them. They engage in deep dialogue with each other and experts around the country on the job quality challenges that face our country, how issues of race and gender intersect with those challenges, and opportunities for change. They also reflect on and examine their individual role and strengths and that of their organizations in facilitating change.

“Being a part of this fellowship connects me to people with whom I otherwise would not have an opportunity to talk about big questions,” Butler said during the fellowship. “I would like to learn from other fellows: How do they experience the labor movement in their sectors or communities? What is the role of government in their sectors or communities? What should labor unions be doing differently to further improve job quality? How do business leaders consider job quality as a core part of their operational model? Now is the time for these conversations to happen, and now is the time for us to envision the future that we want.”

See the link to the Q & A interview with Butler while an Aspen Job Quality Fellow.

To learn more about the program and the individuals who make up the fellowship visit,

If you want to talk to someone from the EOP program about the Job Quality Fellowship, please contact Lizette Olmos Godfrey at



About The Aspen Institute 

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program

The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low-and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. We recognize that race, gender, and place intersect with and intensify the challenge of economic inequality and we address these dynamics by advancing an inclusive vision of economic justice. For over 25 years, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity. Learn more at

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