Rue Landau. (Landau campaign)

Rue Landau, a lawyer, activist, and former city official, is one of five Democratic candidates for City Council’s seven at-large seats.

If elected, Landau would become Philly’s first openly LGBTQ councilmember.

The 54-year-old Bella Vista resident grew up in Cheltenham and moved to Philadelphia after college. She got involved as a volunteer for the HIV/AIDS activist organization ACT UP and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, a housing advocacy group. 

After Landau graduated from Temple Law, she worked for Community Legal Services as a staff attorney, representing tenants with lower incomes. There, she “juggled 70 cases at a time” and typically won them, an Inquirer columnist reported 15 years ago.

She worked at CLS for a decade before becoming the executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission in 2008. She served in that role for 12 years, according to her LinkedIn, and then became director of law and policy for the Philadelphia Bar Association.

All of the at-large Council candidates

Choose a candidate below to learn more about them, or get an overview of how November’s Council election is playing out.

Nina Ahmad

Kendra Brooks
Incumbent, Working Families Party

Katherine Gilmore Richardson
Incumbent, Democrat

Jim Harrity
Incumbent, Democrat

Jim Hasher

Rue Landau

Drew Murray

Nicholas O’Rourke
Working Families Party

Isaiah Thomas
Incumbent, Democrat

At-large City Councilmembers are elected every four years, and this year, just three of the seven candidates are incumbents who’ve served for more than a year. That’s because four at-large members resigned to run for mayor in the spring primary.

Landau is a non-incumbent who clinched one of the five Democratic nominations in a field of 27 candidates. She was the only non-incumbent fully endorsed by the Philadelphia Democratic Party in the primary. Since 75% of Philadelphia voters are registered Democrats, she and the other four Democratic candidates are considered likely to win seats.

As one of her top policy priorities, Landau lists pursuing proven “community solutions to gun violence” like community policing and de-escalation training. She also wants to better affordable housing opportunities and increase investments in neighborhood public schools, libraries, rec centers, and community spaces.

On her website, she also says she’d prioritize constituent services and make sure her office is “open door for all Philadelphians.”

Landau’s campaign finance situation

Landau’s top campaign contributors this year include herself — she’s lent around $23k to the campaign — and several labor unions.Landau’s political committee, Rue for Philly, has around $30,000 in the bank as of mid-September, per the most recent campaign finance filing. Between early June and mid-September, it raised around $60,500 and spent around $49,400.

Asha Prihar is a general assignment reporter at Billy Penn. She has previously written for several daily newspapers across the Midwest, and she covered Pennsylvania state government and politics for The...