2024 Annual Celebration • Honorees and Emcee

Honorees

This year, our honorees are three close partners of the Public Interest Law Center who have stood tirelessly alongside our neighbors in Philadelphia. Each has worked to make our city better by standing strong for fundamental civil, social and economic rights: quality housing, freedom from gun violence, spaces to learn and play, and so much more.

This year, our honorees are three close partners of the Public Interest Law Center who have stood tirelessly alongside our neighbors in Philadelphia. Each has worked to make our city better by standing strong for fundamental civil, social and economic rights: quality housing, freedom from gun violence, spaces to learn and play, and so much more.

  • Renters United Philadelphia / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia
  • Saul Ewing
  • Estelle Richman

Renters United Philadelphia / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia

Renters United Philadelphia members and supporters at a protest for quality housing in Dec. 2022
Renters United Philadelphia members and supporters at a protest for quality housing in Dec. 2022

Renters United / Inquilinxs en la Lucha Philadelphia (RUP) was launched by the Law Center in 2019 to organize and educate renters to fight for their right to quality housing. RUP helps tenants organize to build the collective power needed to solve their particular housing concerns, using a variety of tactics including direct action. The renters who lead the organization stand up for their rights and the rights of their neighbors, creating campaigns that have won much-needed repairs, lease renewals and more. RUP has also stood with tenants citywide to advocate for meaningful policy change, like proactive housing safety inspections.

They continued to organize and grown even through the pandemic, and now count more than 60 renters as members. In 2023, after more than four years of growth and development, RUP joined OnePA’s citywide housing justice network and now operates independently of the Law Center. We continue to collaborate closely with RUP, including through monthly renters’ right clinics attended by our attorneys and interns, who provide free Know-Your-Rights trainings and consultations.

Saul Ewing

Saul Ewing
Saul Ewing

Saul Ewing has been an indispensable partner of the Law Center in cases and representations that aim to make Philadelphia a better and safer place to live. Last year, with Fred Strober, they joined us in representing Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, which has taught thousands of Philadelphia children and young adults how to ride and care for horses, to secure a new space for its horse to graze. Their efforts helped lead to the opening of brand new stables and grazing fields for the horses in Fairmount park.

Ned Rahn and Kevin Levy joined us in the 2020 Armstrong case, representing Philadelphians who have lost loved ones to gun violence in an effort to preserve Philadelphia’s lost and stolen gun ordinance–a tool to curb illegal straw purchasing of handguns that fuels gun violence. The firm’s history with the Law Center runs deep: former managing partner Bob Sayre (1916-2006) was a founder and early Board chair.

Estelle Richman

Estelle Richman
Estelle Richman

For decades, Estelle Richman has been a champion in public service for the values that Law Center stands for. With the City of Philadelphia, Estelle was managing director, director of social services, commissioner of public health, and deputy commissioner for mental health services. She also served as chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, Pennsylvania secretary of welfare, a member of the School Reform Commission, and sole board member of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. And she came out of retirement to become executive director of the Civic Coalition to Save Lives, which focuses on evidence-based and sustainable strategies to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia.