On Dec. 5, 2022, incumbent Senate candidate Raphael Warnock made his second round to Tech accompanied by Senator Jon Ossoff. However, before the duo made their appearance, they were introduced by freshman Representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost.
At 26, Frost is the first person to represent Gen Z in the national legislature, and the Technique had the opportunity to interview him. Frost is representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the 118th Congress. Although he has achieved by 26 what takes many a lifetime, Frost was transparent in explaining that it almost did not happen.
“This was a very impulsive decision. I was not planning or calculating on this specific position,” Frost said.
He explained that he began his career a decade ago by attending the Sandy Hook shooting memorial after the initial tragedy and began organizing within his community shortly after in local campaigns and eventually graduating to work with larger organizations like March for Our Lives, MoveOn.org and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“One day some folks I protested with said ‘Maxwell, you should run for this congressional seat’,” Frost said.
Initially, he turned them down. But with much prompting from his community, eventually, he took the bid and “when it happens organically, you get the best results.”
In the early phases of establishing himself, Frost took an approach of working within preexisting structures within his community instead of starting new ones.
“In the organizer/activist world, we all like to start our own things which is good, if you find a niche and a bubble or maybe there’s already an existing organizing network that doesn’t share your values or they’re not operating the way you think they should, start your own thing. But I’m really a fan of folding into movements,” Frost said.
Continuing with this sentiment and taking inspiration from predecessors, Frost explained that “Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, he’s been a part of a movement here. We’re folding into it and continuing that tradition of excellence … our ancestors conspired for us to stand here today and now we’re conspiring for seven generations in the future.”
Frost went on to explain the significance of the Seventh Generation Principle and why it is a framework he operates within.
“I was taught about it by the Future Generations Pact, it’s an Indigenous principle way of thinking that says every decision we make should impact positively seven generations in the future. I believe we’re all part of this grand mosaic of humanity and I just want all of our people to do well,” Frost said.
Frost has many plans for his tenure in Congress.
“There’s a lot we need to do. I believe in a world where everybody has healthcare as a human right, housing is a human right and being able to live free of gun violence is a human right … I’m going to fight to strengthen the things we need. Because of that [Republican] majority, we’re not going to be able to pass the full transformational change we need next cycle.”
However, he followed up saying that “this is not about being pessimistic, it’s just about being realistic. That doesn’t mean we can’t build power so that in two years, we’re in a place to do that. I’m still going to fight to end gun violence, I want to pass money for community violence intervention — it’s not the regulation of guns, it’s getting money to communities so they can end gun violence for themselves.”
While the event’s two main speakers came to the Institute to address their constituents, the Florida-based representative explained why he still thought it was important for him to be there.
“We believe it’s not just about Maxwell Frost in Florida, it’s not just about Reverend Raphael Warnock here in Georgia, it’s a movement across the country of values-based progressive people going into Congress. So it means if I stay in my district and I don’t do anything outside of it — I’m doing the job wrong,” Frost said.
Continuing this sentiment he said that “I really believe that the work we do in D.C. is incredibly important but so is the work that we do across the country to elect like minded people. It’s a math game, if we don’t have the numbers, we can’t pass Medicare for all.
If we don’t have the numbers, we can’t do what we need to do to end gun violence.”
While Frost has seen much recent success, he still sees himself as he did 10 years ago, when he got his start.
“Organizer is the title I wear the proudest, because I’m going to organize regardless of where I am,” Frost said.