EMILY’s List has named Rep. Anna Eskamani as one of six national finalists for the organization’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.
The recognition aims to highlight women lawmakers serving at the state level.
“The award honors a woman who demonstrates the sort of commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and determination and civility that have been the highlights of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ career, in and out of office,” read a statement from EMILY’s List.
Eskamani is the only 2020 nominee from Florida.
“Anna has dedicated her life to advocating for the people of central Florida,” added Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List.
“The first Iranian-American elected to public office in Florida, Anna has become a champion for marginalized communities including at-risk youth and LGBTQ+ people.”
Eskamani is wrapping her freshman term in the House after easily winning the 2018 contest for House District 47. Other finalists for the 2020 award include Montana Rep. Jade Bahr, North Carolina Rep. Sydney Batch, Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Texas Rep. Mary González and Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes.
Schriock pointed to Eskamani’s legislative priorities in explaining her selection as a finalist for the honor.
“During her historic tenure in the Florida House, she has secured $100,000 in funding to fight human trafficking and fought to ensure that survivors of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub continued receiving access to crucial community assistance programs,” Shriock said.
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anna has donated her salary to unemployed Floridians in her district and has been working to help her constituents navigate the state’s failing unemployment system and affordable housing crisis. From her advocacy work at Planned Parenthood to her compassionate leadership in the Florida House of Representatives, Anna has proven that she will be a tireless champion for Orlando’s women and families, and at just 30, has a bright future ahead.”
The award is named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. Giffords served in the Arizona Legislature for four years before winning a 2016 election to the U.S. House. She retired from that seat after being shot in a 2011 attack in Tucson. Giffords now works as an advocate for increased gun regulation.
Prior winners of the award include former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014 and former Boston City Councilwoman — and now Congresswoman — Ayanna Pressley in 2015.