Rue Landau is a civil rights attorney, a housing rights organizer, a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, and a public school parent.
Organizing for Housing and LGBTQ Rights
Rue started her career as an activist and housing organizer working on the frontlines in the fight for economic justice—demanding access to affordable housing in Kensington and organizing to provide social services 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!).
For more than a decade after, Rue worked as an attorney at Community Legal Services helping thousands of low-income renters in Philadelphia avoid eviction from their affordable housing. She fought and won lawsuits benefitting thousands of people, many of the city’s most vulnerable, poor and high-risk populations. She took on unfair evictions, kept families together, and successfully challenged government bureaucracies, including the Philadelphia Housing Authority and L&I.
Fighting for Equity through Public Service
Rue served as the director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and the Fair Housing Commission, the city’s civil rights and housing enforcement agencies. During her 12-year tenure, she transformed the agencies into national models for government and community engagement, social justice, and equitable opportunity.
She also oversaw community relations initiatives to combat hate and bias and to bring communities together, to prevent conflict and promote understanding. This work was particularly important, after the 2016 election, when Philadelphia saw a significant rise in hate crimes and bias incidents against communities of color, particularly BIPOC, immigrants and refugees, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Mom and Community Leader
Rue 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 Rue’s identical twin sister. Rue is a Committeeperson in the Second Ward. Rue is an active member of the Reconstructionist synagogue Kol Tzedek in West Philadelphia. Rue grew up just outside the city, in Cheltenham, and she’s been proud to call Philadelphia her home for 30 years.