Open Letter from Laphonza Butler

It’s Our Turn

EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler’s open letter to the community.

A full-color portrait of Laphonza Butler,  EMILY’s List President.

Dear EMILY’s List supporter,

We are watching the past century’s progress to protect our rights disintegrate before our eyes.  The Supreme Court’s brazen assault on women’s reproductive freedom is only the latest example. Whether it’s women’s rights, civil rights, or voting rights, it’s clear we are facing a real threat to our democracy. 

But this was the plan all along. Republicans have been working for decades to chip away at our rights and maintain a system that allows for second-class citizens. With our democracy on the line, I reflect on the words of Coretta Scott King, who once called on the women of this country to stand and be its very soul. “Freedom is never truly won,” she said. “You earn it and you win it with every generation.” These words are a reminder to each and every one of us that we must fight for our lives to ensure freedom and justice for generations to come.

Since 1985, EMILY’s List has been a leader in the fight to get women in rooms of power, and right now our mission is more important than ever. We recruit, train and elevate women to office who will protect the freedom to make decisions about our bodies and futures, and have helped elect more than 1,500 women to public office—from school boards to Congress to the Vice Presidency. 

In this work, we stand on the shoulders of the generations before us who fought for the freedoms that are being stripped away by extreme Republicans across the country. To honor the legacy of these rabble rousers, feminists and civil rights warriors, today we are launching a new brand for EMILY’s List that serves as a rallying cry for the next generation to fight to protect and restore essential freedoms for generations to come. It honors the work that we do, from recruiting women to run to helping them win, and knowing that those women will change the world with their work.

The typography used in our new wordmark references iconic hand-lettered signage from 100 years of protests and social causes. Our flag icon is constructed from a stylized “E” and a checkmark, a signal of our faith that real progress can—and will—be delivered through voting and in the democratic process. 

Now, with less than 100 days until the midterm election, we all have real work to do to ensure our elected officials reflect the will of the American people. It’s never been more clear that we are facing a rise in authoritarianism that must be stopped by voting up and down the ballot like our lives depend on it—because they do. 

Right now, it’s our turn to protect and advance fair access to the ballot box to help preserve our democracy. And it’s our turn to break down the systems that keep women, especially women of color, locked out of rooms of power.

Right now, it’s our turn to use every lesson we’ve learned, every relationship we’ve built and raise every dollar we can to vote every single person out of office who does not stand with protecting abortion access. Because we know that protecting abortion access means freedom for every woman to choose her own destiny.

Right now, it’s our turn to recognize the inextricable linkage between reproductive health, economic justice, civil rights, voting rights and climate justice. We must connect the advocacy movements that are fighting for our rights, because we build power by working together to achieve our goals. 

And right now, it is our turn to expand the number of Democratic pro-choice women in elected office at every level of government, because it matters when we are in the room.

In this consequential election, the women who will deliver victory for our movement represent the vast diversity of our nation. They come from all backgrounds and bring real lived experiences to the halls of government. They are activists. Teachers. Organizers. Health Care Providers. Moms.

One of them might be you. Your story is your platform. Your journey is your qualification.

The next generation of progress, and the future of our democracy, depends on women like you.

We create change when we are in the room where decisions are made. And we are only in the room when we run, and when we win. May we continue to be bold enough to run and win, indeed that is how we will change the world.


Laphonza Butler
EMILY’s List President
Run. Win. Change the world.