Anna Eskamani a trailblazer in Florida politics

Rep. Anna Eskamani at a recent public event. Photo courtesy:

Florida state Representative Anna Eskamani began her political career in 2018, championing her position as the first Iranian-American elected to any public office in Florida when she flipped her legislative seat.

Born and raised in Orlando, Eskamani’s upbringing was one of resilience and determination, shaped by the sacrifices of her parents and the loss of her mother to cancer when she was just 13 years old.

She aims to advocate for working-class families, is a tireless advocate for justice, and a fierce defender of the American dream that her immigrant parents sought when they arrived in Florida from Iran.

“I really just wanted to help people. I grew up in a working-class family of immigrants and had no idea if there was anyone out there fighting for me,” Eskamani told The Famuan. “I want to make sure families like mine have an advocate in places of decision making.”

From a young age, Eskamani showed an inclination for community building and activism. At 10 years old, she collected petitions to keep her best friend from being relocated during lunchtime. In high school, she immersed herself in the performing arts as a theater tech, showcasing her dedication to creativity and hard work. These anecdotes are only a few moments in the shaping of her character. 

“I hope to be known as someone with a strong moral compass who cares about people and works hard to deliver results, even in difficult environments,” Eskamani said.

Her professional career is marked by her dedication to serving others. From 2012 to 2018, Eskamani served as a senior director for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, overseeing services for 40,000 Floridians seeking health care. 

The election of former president Donald Trump, however, is what Eskamani says sparked her into Florida’s political landscape. His platform points were ones that she strongly disagreed with, and she felt that her activism had to be taken to the next level.

“The election of former President Trump was a major catalyst for me — I was so disturbed by his platform and values,” Eskamani said. “I was already civically engaged at the time but seeing him get elected and what his intentions were motivated me to take action at a new level. I wanted to not only offer a contrast to governing but I wanted to redefine what it means to be a public servant.”

Her re-election victories in 2020 and 2022 are a testament to her unwavering dedication to her constituents. In Tallahassee, she has become known as a bridge builder, bringing people together to tackle critical issues such as economic justice, environmental protection, equality, public school funding, human trafficking prevention and support for arts and culture.

“I care deeply about personal freedoms and economic security. I want to ensure that every Floridian has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” Eskamani said. “This means fighting back against bills that target specific communities and ensuring that we are creating an environment that lifts up Floridians in poverty, fully funds public schools and hold corporations accountable to pay their taxes and treat workers well.”

Rep. Anna Eskamani at a recent public event. Photo courtesy:

In the midst of challenging times, Eskamani remains resolute in her mission to help those in need. As a younger politician, and a woman of color, Eskamani faces challenges in her political career that many politicians have the privilege of avoiding. 

“There are micro-aggressors that women already face in politics that are amplified for young people and people of color,” Eskamani said. “This includes assumptions being made about my capabilities and personality along with comments expressed about what I am wearing or what my hair looks like.”

Her advocacy for women’s health and equality has reverberated through the Legislature and beyond, earning her a reputation as a steadfast champion for marginalized communities.

“Women need to work twice as hard to be taken seriously in political spaces and be more intentional in keeping ourselves safe too,” Eskamani said.

As she continues her journey in public service, Eskamani hopes to be remembered as someone with a strong moral compass, a fierce advocate for the underprivileged and a beacon of hope for all Floridians.