Maxwell Frost Represents Generation Z and the Future of Congress


Maxwell Frost is the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The election of Maxwell Frost to Congress is a watershed moment in American politics. It is a sign of how powerful a force Generation Z has become within the electorate. Democratic Congressman-elect Maxwell Frost will be representing Florida’s 10th Congressional district. At just 25 years old, he will be the first Congressional representative that is a member of Gen Z. His top priorities are increasing gun regulations, implementing Medicare for All and taking measures against climate change. All of these positions are ones that resonate with young voters. Youth turnout during this election was at 27%, which was the second highest in 30 years. Even at 27%, the effect of the youth vote was felt nationally. Voters between ages 18 and 29 voted for Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives by a whopping 62% compared to 35% for Republicans. This newfound youth enthusiasm is happening at a crucial time within the Democratic Party. 

The current Congress has the oldest members in American history with an average age of 60.7. The leadership of the Democratic Party is dominated by politicians like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Chief Whip Jim Clyburn, who are all in their 80s. 

Gen Z is disconnected from this group of politicians. The youth today are worried about issues like abortion, inflation, gun control and climate change. However, when members of Gen Z see the leadership of the Democratic party being dominated by older members, it does not inspire confidence or excitement. 

For all the legislative prowess that Pelosi has, she has trouble connecting with Gen Z. A political party whose leaders are dominated by old faces does not inspire confidence in the creation and implementation of new ideas, which is what our young people crave. The leadership of the House Democrats seem to understand this. After all, some older party members are stepping down from their leadership roles. Whoever is replacing them will have to consider how to make Gen Z feel like the party is more in touch with their concerns. I would suggest that they look to whom young voters respond positively.

Some politicians that seem to inspire young voters are younger politicians with progressive ideas, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Frost. Instead of creating apathy, these younger politicians inspire — but it is not just because of their younger age. They know how to communicate with a younger base of constituents. Both politicians use social media as a way to engage with their voters, and social media is home to Gen Z. 

When voters feel like politicians are making the effort to reach out and listen, like with Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram Q&A’s and livestreams, then they are more likely to want to support them. Both politicians have also used social media to seem more relatable and genuine by tweeting about light-hearted subjects. These are the politicians that the youth are relating to and the Democratic Party should take note. Now that there is change going on in the upper levels of leadership, the party should do more to promote voices like Ocasio-Cortez and Frost. 

With the election of Frost, Gen Z now has a voice on the floor of Congress. When the House is debating taking measures on gun control, a former March for Our Lives organizer will be in the room. Members of Gen Z are now entering adulthood and we don’t need to depend on adults to take action for us anymore. If Gen Z feels like their representatives don’t care about the issues important to them, they have the power to start running for office. To some, the election of one Gen Z representative may seem small since he is only one of 435 other Congress members, but I think that this point of view is incredibly short-sighted and ignores the influence that a young representative can have on people outside of Congress. 

At the moment there is only one Gen Z representative in Congress, although he can inspire others to join him. Gen Z is already engaged on many levels of the political process, which is impressive for such a young generation. Politicians like Frost can inspire younger people to run for office. Eventually, more members of Gen Z will be elected. For all we know, the election of Frost could be the start of a political wave that fundamentally changes Congress. It is up to Gen Z to make that future a reality.

Evan McManus, FCRH ’25, is a political science major from Dover, Mass.