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In the Spotlight: Maxwell Alejandro Frost

Youngest member of Congress sends a message on guns

Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost talks with reporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 18.
Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost talks with reporters outside the Capitol on Jan. 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Just three Democrats voted against the batch of fiscal 2024 spending bills that became law earlier this month, citing the inclusion of a GOP-led gun policy rider. One of those was Florida’s Maxwell Alejandro Frost, the first member of Congress from Generation Z. 

The rider requires the Veterans Affairs Department to obtain approval from a judge before referring certain veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” to the FBI’s background check system, which is used in firearm purchases.

The other Democrats who voted against the spending package were Sen. Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut and Rep. Mark Takano of California. Last week, Frost joined over 130 Democrats on a letter outlining their concerns over the policy change. 

“We are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to use their power to bypass this rollback, and they must do so before a single life is lost because of this legislation,” Frost said in a statement.

Getting to Congress 

Frost has been involved in gun control activism since high school, motivated by the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. That led to nearly a dozen stints in community organizing movements and political campaigns, including the American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

Local political leaders tapped Frost to run for the House in 2022 after three-term Democratic Rep. Val B. Demings announced a bid for the Senate. Frost won a crowded primary, campaigning with limited resources and driving for Uber to support himself. He had no trouble defeating Republican Calvin B. Wimbish in the heavily Democratic district. 

His district

Florida’s 10th District is anchored in and around the city of Orlando in Orange County, known as central Florida’s mecca for tourists. Hospitality is a major industry for the region, largely driven by the area’s entertainment resorts. The district is home to the Universal Studios Florida theme park, and the massive Walt Disney World is a close neighbor.

Though not as heavily Hispanic as other parts of Florida, the area includes a substantial population of people of Puerto Rican descent. Politically, the 10th was once a swing district but today holds a distinct Democratic advantage. In Orange County, registered Democrats outnumber Republicans roughly 3 to 2.

What’s new

At 27 years old, Frost is the youngest member of the 118th Congress. He hailed the recent launch of EPA’s National Environmental Youth Advisory Council, which will provide the agency with policy advice and recommendations from the perspective of young people who may feel the most impact on issues like climate change.

Point of interest

A lifelong musician and percussionist, Frost took his high school salsa band Seguro Que Si to President Barack Obama’s second inauguration after weeks of lobbying then-Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s office for a letter of recommendation. To help raise funds for the trip, Frost wrote letters to small businesses across central Florida.

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