PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney today announced that Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and Fair Housing Commission (FHC), will leave City government effective Friday, December 18, 2020. Landau has served as Executive Director of both agencies since June 2008. She was first appointed as Executive Director by Mayor Nutter in 2008 and again by Mayor Kenney in 2016. PCHR Deputy Director Randy Duque will serve as Acting Executive Director while a search is completed for Landau’s replacement.
“Rue Landau is among the fiercest advocates for civil rights and issues of social justice that I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my decades in City government,” said Mayor Kenney. “In her dual roles as Executive Director of both the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission, she has helped shape and enforce some of our city’s most consequential anti-discrimination laws. Rue’s passion for her work is ever-present and will be missed by her colleagues in the administration, on City Council, and at partner organizations outside of government. I wish her well in the next phase of her career, and look forward to working with long-time deputy Randy Duque in his role as Acting Executive Director.”
While leading the agencies, Landau has overhauled and expanded the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance to add civil rights protections including wage equity, fair chance hiring for people with criminal records, and reasonable accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, among others. She oversaw many efforts to strengthen existing laws by creating added protections for marginalized populations such as the LGBTQ community. In addition, Landau worked on amendments to the Fair Housing Ordinance, including groundbreaking “good cause” eviction protections. She also launched a revitalized Interagency Civil Rights Task Force and worked with Deputy Director Randy Duque to launch a Rapid Response Team—consisting of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and community partners—to address intergroup tension, hate crimes, and bias incidents in Philadelphia.
Landau is the recipient of numerous awards for her community leadership and commitment to civil rights, equity, and social justice, including the Equal Justice Award from Community Legal Services (2020), the Cheryl Ingram Advocate for Justice Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association’s LGBT Rights Division (2019), the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award on behalf of the PCHR (2016), the Building Bridges, Opening Doors Award from HIAS PA (2010), and “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer (2006).
“It has been a great honor to serve two mayoral administrations and the people of Philadelphia over the past 12 years,” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations and Fair Housing Commission. “A great deal has changed since I assumed these roles in 2008, but the need for strong local anti-discrimination measures has remained constant. Recently, we’ve seen how critical these local laws are as politicians at the federal level have attempted to chip away at the rights of our most marginalized communities. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done through the PCHR and FHC—elevating Philadelphia’s reputation as a national leader in civil rights protections, while helping our residents who are most in need. And while it will be hard to leave the City of Philadelphia, I am excited to play a role in developing a pipeline of future advocates and legal professionals who will be able to continue this work for generations to come.”
Landau will join the faculty at Temple University Beasley School of Law for the Spring semester as the Beck Professor, teaching housing law. The Beck Chair in Law was established through the support of the Independence Foundation in honor of Judge Phyllis Beck.
“I’m proud to serve as Acting Executive Director of the PCHR and FHC, and thank Mayor Kenney for trusting me with this responsibility,” said Randy Duque, Deputy Director Community Relations Division, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. “Working with Rue over the past several years has been an incredible learning experience. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Philadelphia in this role.”
Duque currently serves as the Deputy Director for PCHR’s Community Relation Division—a role he has held since 2014. As Deputy Director, Duque works on various collaborative issues with organizations from the grassroots to federal levels. His responsibilities cover areas including civil rights and race relations, immigrant and refugee issues, victim services, anti-violence initiatives, police-community relations, conflict intervention, and issues relating to changing neighborhoods. Duque is past president of the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter and served 10 years in the infantry with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He received his master’s degree in Applied Communication and Conflict Processes through the School of Allied Health Professions and bachelor’s degree in Anthropology at Temple University.
“I and all the Commissioners thank Rue for her years of services to the people of Philadelphia,” said Shalimar Thomas, PCHR Chair. “Under her leadership, the PCHR and FHC have played a critical role in preventing and remedying unlawful discrimination against Philadelphia residents in employment, public accommodation, housing, and more. We look forward to working with Randy in his new capacity and will help to ensure a smooth transition for the next Executive Director once that person has been selected.”
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is the City’s official civil rights agency. It is responsible for enforcing laws that prevent discrimination and promote equality, namely the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance. The PCHR also investigates complaints of discrimination and violations of civil rights law, in addition to resolving community conflicts.
The Fair Housing Commission is the City agency charged with addressing unfair rental practices in housing and other landlord-tenant disputes. The FHC enforces the Philadelphia Fair Housing Ordinance, which prohibits certain unfair rental practices by landlords against tenants and gives the Commission the authority to address unsafe and unhealthy conditions in rental properties.
Landau’s headshot is available HERE and can be used for publication.
Duque’s headshot is available HERE and can be used for publication.