Rue Landau is a civil rights and housing attorney, a public school parent and the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Philadelphia City Council. She has spent her entire career fighting for social justice and equity for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities. She has a vision for Philadelphia that lifts up every neighborhood and ensures that every person has the opportunity to thrive.
She started her career as an activist and housing organizer. She was on the frontlines in the fight for economic justice, demanding access to affordable housing and health care during the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as an active member of ACT UP, Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and Women’s Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!).
Then, for more than a decade, Councilmember Landau worked as an attorney at Community Legal Services helping low-income renters in Philadelphia avoid illegal eviction from their affordable housing. She fought and won lawsuits which kept thousands of the city’s most vulnerable and high-risk families together by successfully challenging government bureaucracies.
Later, Councilmember Landau served as the director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC), the city’s civil rights and housing enforcement agencies. During her 12-year tenure, Councilmember Landau transformed the agencies into national models for government and community engagement, social justice, and equitable opportunity.
Working with City Council, she led initiatives to strengthen and expand the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance, adding civil rights protections including wage equity, fair chance hiring for people with criminal records, reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and good cause eviction safeguards, among others. She also oversaw community relations initiatives to combat hate and bias and to bring communities together to prevent conflict and promote understanding.
After leaving the commissions in 2020, Councilmember Landau taught housing law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law as a Beck Fellow and served as the director of law and policy at the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Now, after winning the November 2023 general election, she plans to use her years of knowledge, skills, and relationships to serve all Philadelphians as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council.
Councilmember Landau’s roots in Philadelphia expand beyond her proven work history. She is an active member of her synagogue Kol Tzedek in West Philadelphia. A proud graduate of Temple Law School, Councilmember Landau has served on numerous boards of non-profit and community organizations, and currently is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Assocation and the Philadelphia LGBTQ Bar Association, as well as a committeeperson in the 2nd Ward. Councilmember Landau is married to her wife, Kerry, and together they received the first same-sex marriage license in Pennsylvania, when it became legal on May 20, 2014. They live with their son, a public school student, in Bella Vista – right around the corner from Councilmember Landau’s identical twin sister. She grew up just outside the city, in Cheltenham, and she’s been proud to call Philadelphia her home for more than 30 years.