What we do
The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) is the City’s official civil rights agency. We enforce an important set of laws that prevent discrimination and promote equality.
PCHR works to:
- Enforce anti-discrimination laws, especially the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance.
- Administer the “Ban the Box” law that prevents discrimination against people with criminal records.
- Investigate complaints of discrimination and violations of civil rights laws.
- Resolve community conflicts through dialogue and other dispute resolution methods.
- Educate the public on their legal rights and responsibilities.
PCHR is led by a nine-member commission, appointed by the mayor. This commission decides disputed complaints and conducts hearings to educate and inform the public.
PCHR works to make sure that everyone in Philadelphia has equal rights and opportunities.
Rue Landau, Esq., is the executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) and the Fair Housing Commission (FHC). The PCHR is the quasi-judicial agency empowered to enforce the City’s civil rights laws and handle community and neighborhood conflicts. The FHC is the City agency charged with addressing unfair rental practices in housing and other landlord-tenant disputes. Prior to her appointment in 2008, Landau was a senior attorney in the Housing Unit at Community Legal Services (CLS) in Philadelphia, where she specialized in landlord-tenant law with a focus on public and subsidized housing.
Landau has received many awards for her community leadership and commitment to equality and social justice. In 2002, she authored a chapter entitled, “Criminal Records and Subsidized Housing: Families Losing the Opportunity for Decent Shelter,” for the Center for Law and Social Policy’s publication, Every Door Closed. In 2006, she was named a Pennsylvania Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Legal Intelligencer. Under her leadership at the PCHR, she initiated the overhaul and expansion of the City’s Fair Practices Ordinance that was signed into law in 2011. In addition, she produced two reports to address significant community concerns: “Widening the Circle of Our Concern: Public Perceptions of the School District of Philadelphia’s Response to Intergroup Conflicts” in 2011, and “Inform, Monitor, Report: Addressing Racism and Discrimination in Philadelphia’s LGBTQ Community” in 2017.
Landau has served as the co-chair of the Municipal Court Committee and as a member of the Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention for the Philadelphia Bar Association. She also has served on the boards of Bread and Roses Community Fund, the Women’s Medical Fund, Liberty City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), and the City of Philadelphia’s Police Community Oversight Board. She currently serves on the board of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA).
|Name||Job title||Phone #||Social|
|Matthew Cowell||Supervisorfirstname.lastname@example.org||(215) 686-4663|
|Randy Duque||Deputy Directoremail@example.com||(215) 686-4676|
|Joseph Farley, M.D.||Supervisorfirstname.lastname@example.org||(215) 686-4688|
|Karen Forman||Principal Assistantemail@example.com||(215) 686-4891|
|Monica Gonzalez||Executive Secretaryfirstname.lastname@example.org||(215) 686-4674|
|Pamela Gwaltney||Deputy Directoremail@example.com||(215) 686-4698|
|Shawna Holts||Supervisorfirstname.lastname@example.org||(215) 686-4675|
|Rachel Hooper||Communications Directoremail@example.com||(215) 686-2766|
|Veata Smith||Administrative Assistantfirstname.lastname@example.org||(215) 686-4699|