Anesa is currently serving her 2nd term in the Iowa House of Representatives. First elected in 2010, Anesa became the youngest woman elected to the Iowa legislature at the age of 24. She received 59% of the vote over longtime Waterloo mayor, John Rooff. She was re-elected with 70% of the vote in 2012.
Anesa has served on several committees during her time in the Iowa legislatureincluding Ways and Means, Commerce, Economic Development Budget-Sub, Appropriations, Veteran Affairs, State and Local Government.
Anesa was born in Western Bosnia. At the age of seven, Anesa was exposed to the destruction of the conflict in Bosnia. She and her parents and sister fled the country as refugees. They spent some time in refugee camps before taking the opportunity to move to Iowa in 1997 with the hopes of a better, more stable life with more opportunities.
Upon Anesa’s parent’s arrival to Iowa with very limited resources and language barriers, they were quickly faced with obstacles and hurdles regarding employment. Both of Anesa’s parents went on to find labor jobs, sometimes holding multiple jobs, while Anesa and her sister were children. While her parents worked at manual labor jobs, Anesa quickly was reminded of how important having a union represent the workforce can be, as her mother was injured on the job and was denied the right to visit the physician of her choice.
Arriving in Iowa was a second chance at life and a shot at the American Dream, which Anesa exemplifies. She attributes her success to her parents instilling in her that with hard work anything is possible in this country, but she is aware that attaining the American Dream is becoming increasingly difficult for middle class Americans.
During her time in the legislature, Rep. Kajtazovic championed for education, access to quality and affordable health care for all Iowans, renewable energy, preserving our natural resources, growing jobs in Iowa, and campaign finance reform laws. She's been part of bi-partisan international delegations to China and Taiwan.