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Meet Ida Eskamani, one of the ’30 under 30′ rising stars of Florida politics

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Equality Florida Development Officer Ida Eskamani says that for her, the personal is the political.

“Our personal experiences are directly connected to the greater societal structures of power, privilege and oppression we work to dismantle through political advocacy,” she says when asked what principles she would put above politics.

The 25-year-old Orlando resident credits her high school American history teacher, Christopher Norris, in igniting her passion for the political life. She also gives tribute to her Iranian-American parents whom she says instilled in her a dedication to public service and social justice.

Eskanami studied at the University of Central Florida, where she became the president of the College Democrats. After graduating with degrees in political science and sociology in 2012, she got her first political gig when former state legislator and current Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph hired her as a fundraising assistant when he chaired the Orange County Democratic Party. “We had record-breaking fundraising,” Eskamani boasts.

She also worked on Bill Nelson’s successful re-election victory over Connie Mack IV, and afterward was selected to be a White House intern in the spring of 2013. From there followed a stint with Florida CHAIN, the healthcare advocacy group, and as finance director for state Rep. Joe Saunders’ re-election campaign.

In addition to her work at Equality Florida, she’s also works on Carlos Guillermo Smith’s House District 49 campaign.

As a self-described advocate for social justice, she says the people she most admires in politics is every Black Lives Matter activist and #ShoutYourAbortion participant.

If she wasn’t working in politics, Eskamani says she’d probably be working as a roadie for a “political punk rock band.”

She can be found on Twitter at @ida_v_e and at Facebook at Facebook.com/ida.v.eskamani

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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