Caroline Bryant | Nov. 29
Floridian Maxwell Frost made history these past midterm elections by becoming the first person of Generation Z to be elected into Congress.
The 25-year-old Democrat from Orlando beat Republican Calvin Wimbish by almost 20 percent of votes, earning the 10th Congressional District Seat in Florida.
Over the past few weeks, Gen-Z has expressed their excitement for Frost’s win across social media. But to University of Central Florida student Olivia Solomon, his win is a lot more personal.
Solomon met Frost when she joined March for Our Lives in 2018. He was an organizing director at the time and she described him as a “role model and big brother” for all.
So when he decided to run for Congress, she told him she wanted to do whatever it took to help him win. She would volunteer throughout his campaign, canvassing door-to-door, making phone calls and text messages to voters, and helping with research and policy writing for his endorsements.
“I just wanted to help get him elected,” Solomon said. “I wanted to get someone who was Gen-Z but also the right person into office. Max is someone who cares, he’s going to stick up for us, and he is a new, fresh face to Congress, but he’s also someone who’s going to fight. He’s not going to be sucked into the game of politics and he cares.”
University High School senior Ella Bisson did the same, canvassing almost every day in the summer. She stressed that talking to neighbors face-to-face was essential in his campaign, as he was an unknown candidate to the public.
While Bisson did not know Frost before his campaign, his active presence in the community led her to volunteer.
“I really liked his work with the ACLU restoring over 1.6 million people’s right to vote with the 4th amendment,” Bisson said. “I would see him, after I joined, at every single abortion rally. He was present in the community and that’s what drew me to his campaign.”
With Anna Eskamani and Carlos Smith already in office at the time, Frost was the best choice for Bisson.
“I wanted someone younger in politics,” Bisson said. “I didn’t really support any of the other people running against him, and there were like 10 other people and it’s my district, so I got to know a lot of the people that were on his campaign and I thought they were amazing. And, I loved that he was progressive because in Florida it is hard to find a good progressive.”
As an elected representative, Frost plans to focus on creating a safer space for not only young people but the entire community. Gun violence protection, rent control, universal health care and LGBTQ+ rights are just a few of his priorities.
Frost especially stresses tighter gun violence laws, being a victim of gun violence himself and being the organizing director of March for our Lives.
But what made Frost stand out against his rival candidates was his energy. To Solomon, he’s the definition of “real.”
“Max is very energetic and he’s very real,” Solomon said. “He’s just also very relatable like he loves Harry Styles and Taylor Swift. When we were in the office for one of the fundraising deadlines, so I was in the office all day making calls, it was the day Harry Styles was releasing the first song to his album and Max had a countdown going on and we were all really excited. When it was released we played it a million times, so that is something I’ll always remember.”
She recalls his enthusiasm during the Orlando Pride parade, eagerly adding his favorite songs to the float playlist queue.
“He was on the back of the truck playing drums and he picked the songs,” Solomon said. “It was ABBA and Amy Whinehouse. The amount of times that I heard Dancing Queen during Pride was many too many times but Max was super into it and dancing.”
He didn’t shy away from office culture, always creating conversations with his staff. To Bisson, talking to him was like talking to a friend.
A friend that inspired millions of youth across the nation. According to Bisson, Frost’s win made her feel confident in running her own campaign one day.
“He showed a lot of us that you don’t have to be a Harvard graduate and you can run right now,” Bisson said. “You can do anything.”
Gen-Z proves this statement true again and again. His win proved that young people have the power to spark change. Their record vote turnout during midterms even prevented the predicted red wave from making shore.
And at the end of the day, all of Bisson and Solomon’s hard work paid off.
“It feels great,” Solomon said. “We are the generation that has been born right after 9/11 or right before and grows up aging as the school shooter generation, and to finally have someone who understands, who is going to fight for us, who isn’t a Baby Boomer that doesn’t understand and realize the stress that we’re under.”