Maxwell Alejandro Frost (1997-)

Frost posing in front of American flag
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, January 3, 2023
Courtesy U.S. House of Representatives under public domain

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Maxwell Alejandro Frost, an Afro-Cuban activist, organizer, and musician, is the first member of Gen Z elected to serve in Congress. He received almost 35% of the vote out of a 10-person race and outraised his counterparts, garnering over $2.5 million in funds, to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District at the age of 25.

Frost was born on January 17, 1997, in Orlando, Florida to a Puerto Rican and Lebanese woman and a Haitian man. His biological mother, a mother of seven, experienced systems of poverty, violence, and crime while pregnant and made the difficult decision to place Frost for adoption because she lacked the resources to raise him. He was adopted as an infant by Maritza Argibay Frost, a white special education teacher who emigrated from Cuba with his grandmother Zenaida Argibay, nicknamed Yeya, “with only a suitcase and no money” during the “Freedom Flights” of the late 1960s, which were caused by intense political tensions from the Cuban Revolution a decade prior. His adoptive father, Patrick Frost, is a white Kansas-born Air Force veteran and award-winning musician-producer. The Frosts also had a daughter, María Elizabeth Frost.

Frost grew up speaking Spanish and English, attended Endeavor Elementary School in Orlando, and graduated from Osceola County School for the Arts in Kissimmee, where he co-founded a salsa band, Seguro Que Sí, which marched in President Obama’s second Inaugural Parade. While eating at a restaurant before one of his concerts in 2012, he first saw news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Greatly impacted, he traveled to Washington DC to attend the victims’ memorial and met Matthew Soto, who lost his sister, Vicki Soto. “Seeing a 16-year-old… crying over his sister, who was murdered for just going to school, changed my life forever.” He promised then to “fight for a world where no one has to feel that way.” That year set in motion a decade of political activism, starting with a fellowship in former-President Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign and volunteering with the Newtown Action Alliance.

After graduating from high school, he became active in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and several state-level Florida campaigns with various nonprofit organizations. In 2017, he also worked in Margaret Good’s bid for Florida House and started his two-year stint as Production Dispatch for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In 2018, he was the Field Manager for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, where he led the Amendment 4 campaign that restored felons’ right to vote in Florida. In 2019, he joined the national ACLU as a National Organizing Specialist, where he helped pressure then-presidential candidate Joe Biden to reverse his support for the Hyde Amendment, which would bar abortion services through Medicaid. He also contributed to Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid as a National Advance Manager and to March For Our Lives, a non-profit created in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting of 2018, as the National Organizing Director.

While organizing, fellow activists encouraged him to run for Congress, and he made the final decision after reconnecting with his biological mom in June 2021. After this, he left his full-time job with March For Our Lives and drove Uber for its flexibility, to help fund his campaign to become the Democratic Representative for District 10. Endorsed by major Congressional caucuses, progressive advocacy groups, and Congress members including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and more, he was elected on a platform that included gun reform, Medicare for all, and a Green New Deal. He started his term in January 2023 and is currently attending Valencia College in Orlando.