Our government is in dire need of a shift. That shift came on November 8, 2022, when Gen-Z showed up on the front steps of Congress to welcome Maxwell Frost. Frost is the first Gen-Z member to be represented in the U.S. Congress. However, that was not Frost’s intention as he set out to run for office. Frost crushed Republican candidate Calvin Wimbish by 19 percentage points and replaced outgoing Democratic Rep. Val Demings in a successful campaign.
On Election Night 2022, Frost, tweeted “WE WON!!!! History was made tonight. We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress.” His tweet made waves amongst a sea of young people in Florida and across the U.S. because they had finally been seen.
Frost realized growing up that “working people and people of color are unjustly marginalized and left behind in our society.” These circumstances led him to run for District 10 in Central Florida. Frost knew that if he did not help his people, then they would not receive any help or the justice they deserved.
Living in an underserved community, Frost’s top issue is gun violence. According to an NPR report, he became an activist after the mass shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, where he served as a director for March for Our Lives, an organization, known for gun policy control. Like Frost, gun violence is a big voter issue for many younger voters—Gen Z and millennials—because mass shootings have played an impactful role in this generation’s outlook on death and violence.
Other important platform issues for Frost include Medicare for all, environmental justice, pandemic preparedness, and affordable housing and transit for the state of Florida. Unlike many of his other Congresspersons, Frost is not wealthy or from money, and had to drive for Uber to pay his bills while campaigning. Therefore, he understands more of the common issues his constituents are facing day-to-day.
In addition, Frost makes it an important point to note Gen-Z and millennials make up one-third of this country but fail to make up a third of Congress. Our government officials are making laws, passing legislation, and creating policies that will not be directly affecting and benefitting them, but likely their younger adult children and grandchildren. Amanda Litman, the co-founder of Run for Something, “We are just seeing the beginning of Gen-Z’s engagement as political leaders.” Frost may be the first Gen-Z Congressman, but he is confident that he won’t be the last one.