We’ve Elected our First Gen Z Member of Congress, What Now?


Maxwell Frost giving his acceptance speech the night of the 2022 Midterms elections as District ten’s first Gen Z member of Congress.

Ella Bisson, Staff Writer

Some members of Generation Z just reached the age of 25, which happens to be the minimum age to run for Congress. 25 year old Maxwell Frost took this as an opportunity to make history, running for and winning Florida’s 10th Congressional District that represents much of Central Florida, including University High School. Frost began his activism in high school and has spent the last ten years of his life as a political organizer, advocating for gun violence prevention and other progressive policies with March for Our Lives and the ACLU. This race caught loads of national attention, from NPR to the New York Times, and Frost was even endorsed by senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. 

This seat was highly contested during the primary election. With Representative Val Deming stepping down to run for the Senate, ten Democratic candidates, including Frost, hoped to secure this solidly democratic seat. Many well known political faces were among the candidates, such as former Representative Alan Grayson and former State Senator Randolph Bracy. With Maxwell being so young and unknown, his campaign worked extra hard to connect with voters on the issues at a face to face level. This approach worked as Frost came out triumphant in both the primary and general election.

I had the pleasure, along with senior Keten Abebe, of working on Frost’s campaign as Organizing Fellows over the summer. We both spent countless hours calling voters and knocking on doors gaining support for Frost. It was inspiring seeing someone not too much older than me accomplish something so monumental. It showed that even though we are young, we can still change the course of history by standing up and advocating for what we believe to be right. “This experience accompanied with Maxwell’s win cemented my belief that my efforts in politics can truly make positive changes. We are young, bold and determined and we can change the course of history,” said Abebe. 

Frost is a great example of what happens when Gen Z makes our voices heard. All over the country, Gen Z members came out to vote and completely changed the trajectory of the 2022 midterms. Republicans were expecting a “red wave” and weren’t counting on Gen Z to vote, but we proved them wrong. Gen Z voters came out in large numbers, voting majority for Democrats, winning them the senate and many house seats Democrats were expected to lose.

 In Florida, the results didn’t follow the trends we saw in the rest of the country. Young people did not come out to vote in Florida, leading to a landslide win for Ron Desantis and Marco Rubio. The big issue is that no one in Florida politics seems to understand that we need candidates who we are excited about. No Democrat that I knew was excited to vote for Charlie Crist or Val Deming like voters were rushing to vote for John Fetterman in Pennsylvania. In all honesty, I wasn’t either, even though I was an employee on Crist’s campaign. Those in charge need to start acknowledging Gen Z and understand that we are not going away, only getting more involved. If Democrats want to make political gains in Florida, they need to promote candidates that inspire younger voters to cast their votes. 

While the majority of Gen Z is Democratic, every member no matter if they are Democrats or Republicans, need to speak out and bring the issues they care so deeply about to the forefront. Older generations count us out of these critical conversations about our future and will continue to do so if we don’t keep this momentum going. It is our responsibility to push through their exclusion. Congress has a wake up call in store if they continue to put the issues that affect our futures on the back burner.