Rue Landau officially announces her historic run for an at-large 2023 City Council seat
The longtime activist, and attorney announced her bid at the John C. Anderson Apartments in Center City.
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On Dec. 13, longtime activist, political organizer, and attorney Rue Landau, officially announced and kicked off her bid for an at-large City Council seat at the John C. Anderson apartment complex in Center City.
It’s a place that is symbolic of Landau’s run — Anderson was a former Philadelphia Councilmember, first elected back in 1979 — and not out about their sexual orientation — who died from AIDS shortly before pursuing re-election in 1983.
“Growing up my parents taught me we all have a role to play in healing the world. That unwavering ambition of mine is what brought me here in front of you all today. Philadelphia is an incredible city and we have so much potential to be the best,” Landau said. “We need someone with vision, a proven track record and strong relationships to get things done.”
And it was also a meaningful date for Landau, as it was also Gloria Casarez’s birthday, a Philly civil rights leader and LGBTQ+ activist. She was the director of the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ+ affairs and a really good friend of Landau’s. She passed away from cancer back in 2014.
As a lifelong Philly resident, she wants to bring much needed change for every single Philadelphian. This is something she knows a thing or two about after spending the last two decades as an attorney, political organizer, and activist.
Early on in her career, she was an activist and housing organizer. She was always fighting for economic justice, access to affordable housing in Kensington and organizing to provide social services during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1990s as an active member of ACT UP, Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and Women’s Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM!).
Landau then went to law school and for more than a decade, worked as an attorney at Community Legal Services (CLS), helping thousands of low-income renters in Philly avoid eviction. She kept families together, and successfully challenged government bureaucracies, including the city’s Housing Authority and the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
She then became Director of the Philly Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC), the city’s civil rights and housing enforcement agencies. In her 12-year tenure, she turned the agencies into national models for government and community engagement, social justice, and equitable opportunity.
“I have the track record to back up these promises. My entire professional career, I've been fighting for justice and equity for our most vulnerable communities. I've never been afraid of tough fights or speaking truth to power. In order to make Philadelphia a more equitable place for everyone, we have to start from the ground up. City Hall alone won't solve our problems,” she said.
In a packed room full of lifelong supporters, friends, and colleagues, Councilmember Kendra Brooks and District Attorney Larry Krasner were also in attendance.
While some LGBTQ+ judges have been elected in Philly, and two state representatives are openly gay, there has not been an openly out person in City Council.
“If elected, I promise you I will continue to work with every elected official, community, group or individual who wants to create a better Philadelphia for every person in every community. It's time to make history and ensure that all Philadelphians feel represented in City Hall. I would be honored to be the first openly LGBTQ+ council person elected but while breaking the glass ceiling is so important, I want to be clear. I'm running to represent all Philadelphians,” said Landau.
She is running on a campaign fighting issues she has spent a lifetime fighting for in regards to social justice and equity for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities. Landau is looking to use her two decades of experience to combat the gun violence epidemic, unaffordable housing, LGBTQ+ rights, higher wages and much more.
“I know I can do this, and I'll be ready on day one, but I need your help. I'm asking you to sign up to volunteer, knock on some doors, call voters and organize to get the word out. As your next at-large councilmember, we can make every block in Philly a great place to live, to work and to raise your family. I believe in Philadelphia and if you do to, let's get to work,” she concluded.