Orlando’s Maxwell Frost, the youngest U.S. Congressperson, is a progressive voice in a state becoming increasingly red


Rep. Maxwell Frost, from Orlando, is the youngest member and the first of Generation Z to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

During the midterm elections this past November, voters in Florida’s 10th congressional district elected Democratic candidate Maxwell Frost. Rep. Frost, who turned 26 roughly two weeks after being sworn into the 118th Congress in January, is the first member of Generation Z to be elected to Congress.

Born on January 17, 1997, in Orlando, Frost was adopted at birth by his Cuban-American mother and white father. His birth parents are a Lebanese-Puerto Rican woman and a Haitian man. His culturally diverse background has become an integral part of the shaping of Frost’s values, his policies, and his drive for change.

Frost’s grandmother, who he refers to as “Yeya,” and his biological mother fled Cuba, which at the time was under the dictatorial rule of Fidel Castro, in the 1960s on the Freedom Flights. Understanding his family story, Frost dedicated his life to championing better conditions and equal opportunities for all.

Frost was an organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and March for Our Lives, advocating for such issues as racial justice, reproductive freedoms, and gun control. As a national organizing director with March for Our Lives, he managed the organization’s budget and ran chapters across the country. Advocacy became a key part of Frost’s campaign platform when he decided to run for Congress.

Some of the issues at the forefront of Frost’s platform include fighting to end gun violence, Medicare for All, improving the criminal justice system, and combating the climate crisis. Frost also planned to utilize his background as a social justice advocate to champion free speech and equal rights and opportunity for all.

When Frost initially launched his campaign for a congressional seat, many doubted the influence he would have on account of his age. Frost told Vogue that at the primaries for Florida’s District 10, he heard some of his opponents making comments such as, “He is well intentioned, but he is too young. He doesn’t have experience.”

In spite of these doubts, Frost beat out his nine fellow Democratic candidates in the primary with 34% of the vote, 9% more than the runner-up, Randolph Bracy III. He raised $2.5 million for his campaign and received endorsements from Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Ed Markey. 

Frost won the general election with 59% of the vote against his Republican opponent Calvin Wimbish. To celebrate his victory, Frost tweeted, “We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future.”

“‘I really wanted to harp and focus on the fact that young people are oftentimes counted out,’” Frost told The Hill when reflecting on his morning acceptance tweet. “‘But I really want folks to know that I am unapologetically young.”

Frost was sworn into the 118th Congress around 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 7, later than expected given the chaos that ensued in Congress as it struggled to elect a new speaker of the house. On Jan. 3, his expected swearing-in date, Frost, also a musician, hosted a “Swearing In Concert,” prompting his new coworker Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona to call him “probably the coolest member ever elected to Congress.”

Since his victory, Frost has opened up to his new constituents like a true Gen Z’er. He got candid about his struggle to get an apartment in Washington D.C. on account of his bad credit, the result of Uber-ing and credit card usage after Frost’s personal savings ran dry during the campaign. He expressed that he would likely resort to couch surfing, denouncing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ prior practice of living out of his office during his time in the House of Representatives.

Frost has not hesitated to speak out against the Florida governor’s actions and policies, many of which he claims limit free speech. In a House hearing regarding a tweet from TV personality Chrissy Teigen in which she called former president Donald Trump a “p***y ass bitch.” The Trump administration reached out directly to Twitter to request the tweet’s removal, and Twitter safety employee Anika Collier Navaroli was questioned about this situation on the House floor.

Frost argued that Teigen had free speech, and the Trump administration was attempting to suppress her free speech by trying to remove the tweet. He called out Desantis for his anti-free speech practices on the House floor, saying “Free speech is about the government limiting speech…my governor, Ron DeSantis, is doing that right now.”

Frost further condemned DeSantis for his attacks on black history and the LGBTQ+ community. DeSantis has recently banned the teaching of a new Advanced Placement African-American history course in Florida public schools. He also attacked LGBTQ+ rights with his “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, as well as his sudden takeover of New College of Florida. He replaced the board of New College, a liberal arts school with a large LGBTQ+ population, with conservative “MAGA” Republicans. 

“We have to call it for what it is, he is abusing his power and using the state to target political opponents and political enemies,” stated Frost. “There’s a word for that, and it’s fascism.”

The rookie congressman has already been endowed with great responsibility in the House, being assigned to serve on the powerful Committee of Oversight and Accountability, as well as the Science, Space, and Technology Committee. On the Oversight Committee, Frost said he plans to “promote transparency and fight ‘Republican extremist attempts’ to politicize the Committee’s work,” according to The South FL 100.

Frost recently introduced his first bill in the House to establish an Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The office would serve to develop strategic solutions to the gun violence crisis in the United States through data analysis. The legislation also promises to “maximize existing gun safety programs to save as many lives as possible,” according to the informational post on Frost’s Instagram.

Frost’s embrace of his “youngness” has been viewed as a gateway for more Gen Z involvement in government. Co-founder of Run for Something, an organization supporting young people running for political office, Amanda Litman explained that “political activity is a habit, it’s a muscle, you build it and then it gets stronger and stronger and stronger. We are just seeing the beginning of Gen Z’s engagement as political leaders.”