Maxwell Frost giving a speech to thank his supporters for victory

At 25, He’s Heading to Congress

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 09 November 2022 > In the News Shine Bright Lycée

Maxwell Alejandro Frost is 25, the minimum age to be a candidate for the House of Representatives. And he just won a seat in Florida: he'll be the first member of Gen Z to sit in the U.S. Congress.

Frost was standing for Florida District 10, a safe Democrat seat in his native Orlando. He had defeated nine other candidates to take the nomination.  Frost is a lively and enthusiastic young activist, who’s been involved in politics and campaigning for gun control and civil rights since was 15. He was born into a Cuban family and adopted by another Cuban family living in Florida. Frost's early career is reminiscent of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s.

When he was 15, he volunteered for President Obama's re-election campaign. He organised to participate in the President’s second Inaugural Parade with his high-school salsa band, managing to raise funds to get them to Washington, D.C.  The same year, he was terribly shocked by the Sandy Hook school shooting in Massachusetts in which 20 children and six adults died. He became an activist against gun violence. He explained during the campaign, "I started organizing at 15 because I didn’t want to get shot at school."

He has worked as an organiser for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a civil-rights organisation, and March for Our Lives, the anti-gun organisation founded by the survivors of the Parkland school shooting in his home state.

Gun Control
This summer, Frost tried to get Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to talk about gun control after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 students and 2 teachers were killed. DeSantis refused any dialogue shouted at Frost, “Nobody wants to hear from you!” In true Gen Z style, Frost's supporters captured the moment in a video that went viral:

When it was announced that Frost had taken his seat with 59% of the vote, he tweeted, "History was made tonight. We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future."

Amanda Litman, the co-founder of Run for Something, an organization that supports young people running for state and local office, believes it could be a turning point in a Congress which has one of the oldest average ages ever. "You see one 25-year-old run for Congress and win, you think I can do this too," she told NPR, "and then more people step up. Someone is the first, more people are the second and the third, and the fourth."

In this interview with CNN, Congressman elect Frost explains the advice President Biden, who was also barely of age when he was elected to the Senate, gave him. And he responds to the reelection of Governor DeSantis, who is considered a possible Republican presidential candidate.

Don't miss our A2+ downloadable resource on  Maxwell Alejandro Frost. This article would be a good addition to Shine Bright Terminale File 13 Latino stories, particularly with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

Webpicks Useful websites and online tools for classroom use
> U.S. Youth Vote Videos
> Gun Control Teaching Resources
Ready to Use Downloadable resources ready to use in class
> A Youth Voice for Congress
> The New Face of Congress