By: Ariana Ceballos
The midterm elections on November 8th were filled with many anxieties as many issues were brought to the polls in which citizens had a say. For instance, in California, many voters voted yes to Proposition 1 to establish the rights of access to abortion and contraception in the state’s constitution. Meanwhile, the “Red Wave” that was anticipated did not occur, and although the party is likely to take the House, many Republicans suffered losses.
The Midterms were definitely also filled with surprises, such as when Florida’s 10th district Maxwell Frost, at 25 years old, became the first Gen Z member to be elected to Congress. It is evident that many young people are taking to the polls to let their voices be heard. Having a fellow member of the generation is promising because it builds a pathway toward the future of inclusivity that Gen-Z wants to see.
Maxwell Frost has worked with organizations like March For Our Lives which are dedicated to gun control laws—an issue that appeals to many young voters who have sadly grown up witnessing the repetitive gun violence in the country. In a post following the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Frost called into question Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis’ attention to gun violence in the state, to which the official responded, “Nobody wants to hear from you!”
Frost has been dedicated to gun reform for a long time. In a quote taken from a New York Times piece, he speaks on the importance of the issue of gun violence stating that Gen-Z “has gone through more mass-shooting drills than fire drills…That gives me a sense of urgency.”
Frost also focused on issues like climate change, abortion rights, and expanding healthcare in his campaign which is being challenged by many older politicians in office. He has taken to the streets in support of the LGBTQ+ community, along with being in full support of the Green New Deal.
Frost ran with the support of many prominent democratic politicians as USA Today lists including “Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Ed Markey along with the Rev. Jesse Jackson as well as the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” This support certainly aided Frost in primaries that took place in August as he was able to win over more experienced Democrats in a 10-candidate race.
In order to make his campaign work, he quit his job and worked for Uber to pay rent while working on his campaign. Frost, like many citizens, has struggled to achieve their goals. He has an understanding of what ordinary people have to struggle with on their day-to-day. In addition to representing Gen-Z in office, Frost will be the first Afro-Cuban member of Congress. Regardless, it is important to note that—although the country is slowly diversifying its political system, much work still needs to be done. One of the best ways a government can understand and address the problems that people of different ethnicities face is by allowing those people to step onto the political platform and use their own voices.
It has now been made clear that Gen-Z is looking to take their future into their hands—not only through voting but by taking part in governmental positions. Frost is not the only one. Karoline Leavitt was also a candidate from Gen Z, working as a press staffer for the former President. At 25, she won the Republican primary in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District but lost in the midterms to Chris Pappas, an incumbent Democrat. As people from Gen-Z get older, some will take to the polls, others to the ballots, but everyone working to ensure that their voices and positions in the country are heard.