Philly City Councilmember Rue Landau pushing to register more LGBTQ voters

Landau said the city's LGBTQ+ community is growing rapidly.

Rue Landau

Democratic Councilmember at-large candidate Rue Landau celebrated with her family and supporters at Cockatoo on Election Night as results confirmed her seat at City Hall. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

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Councilmember Rue Landau, the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Philadelphia City Council, said she wants to register more people within her community for the critical November general election.

“What I’m trying to do is register as many new LGBTQ+ voters as possible,” Landau said, “and also trying to make sure that folks who are already registered have a plan to vote on Election Day so that we can make sure that we have a huge showing from members of our community.”

Landau said the city’s LGBTQ+ community is growing rapidly.

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“By 2030, one of every seven voters — 14.3% — will be LGBTQ+ identifying, and that’s a sharp increase from what we have today. That’s potentially going to continue surging for many years as folks feel more comfortable coming out younger.”

Pennsylvania is seen as a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election and Landau believes every vote will count. She does see an issue for some first-time voters who may have identification problems.

“For some people, if their gender identity or expression doesn’t reflect their legal name or their photo on an ID, they hesitate and don’t want to have what they could see as a problem coming into the polling place.”

City Commissioners’ head Omar Sabir believes that can be overcome by recruiting more members of the LGBTQ+ community who understand issues voters face, especially in key neighborhoods that are populated by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

His office is already working to make the commissioners’ Election Day workforce more reflective of the people they serve.

Landau said her goal is to register 100 new voters, and she is well on her way to that goal. She has gone to many events for Pride Month, and is also working to sign up new residents that are coming to Philadelphia because of its history of being welcoming to members of her community.

Sabir adds with the opening of the City Commissioners’ satellite offices, he expects more people to come in and register for the November election. He also believes they will be accepting more mail-in ballots as part of the effort to engage more people in the city.

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