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Getting Personal

Florida House Representative Anna Eskamani on her first job, her love of The Beatles and what got her first interested in politics.

1. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an engineer. My dad is an engineer and worked on Florida’s Space Coast. Once I got to college, I knew there would be a different path for me but I’ve always a held a deep appreciation for the hard sciences and love space policy.

2. In high school, theater was my safe spot. I spent hours in the theater building props and set pieces and creating costumes. It’s one reason why I’m such a passionate advocate for arts and culture funding today.

3. My first job was at a clothing store. I worked for a summer at Ross when I was 18 years old. My mom worked in retail until she passed away from cancer in 2004. Retail isn’t easy, and these personal experiences are what motivate me to fight hard for all Floridians, including our minimum-wage workers.

4. I went to Orange County Public Schools from kindergarten to 12th grade and then attended the University of Central Florida for my higher-education degrees. Today I hold two bachelor’s degrees and two master’s degrees, and I am pursuing a Ph.D. in public affairs and have taught as an adjunct professor at UCF.

5. Someone I look up to is my mom. She passed away to cancer when I was 13 years old. Both of my parents are immigrants from Iran and they sacrificed so much for us. I miss her deeply and consider her to be a source of daily inspiration for me.

6. If I could see any music act, it would be The Beatles. My mom loved The Beatles and the band has been a big influence in my life. You can always catch me humming a song.

7. I am the first Iranian-American elected to any public office in Florida. A major part of Iranian identity is celebrating the Persian New Year, called Norooz. This holiday falls on the spring equinox and is full of traditions like spring cleaning, picnics and jumping over fire!

8. I was born and raised in Orlando. There is something truly special about representing the place you call home, and since Orlando is a young city, we each have the chance to mold it and build a community that reflects the people who make it so unique.

9. My interest in politics began when I was 10 years old. I collected petitions to keep my best friend at the time from being moved to a different lunch period! So I have always been grounded by a passion to fight for people. And I had an amazing Advanced Placement government teacher my senior year in high school who inspired me to study political science when I got to UCF. While at UCF I began to get involved in community organizing and the rest is history.

10. As a Florida House Representative, it’s an incredible honor to be a trusted voice for the people of District 47. There are 120 State House Representatives from across the state, and though we don’t agree on every issue, it’s been an incredible treat to get to know my colleagues and work to find common ground across party lines.

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s April 2019 issue.

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