Maxwell Frost: A New Hope

Published: December 9, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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Amid all the chaos and divisiveness in Washington comes a political story of hope.

Maxwell Frost, a 25-year-old activist from Orlando, Florida, is the US representative-elect from his home state. And, as his website makes clear, he’s focused on one thing, “Change Can’t Wait.”

“Mr. Frost,” The New York Times reports, “who is of Lebanese, Puerto Rican and Haitian descent and was adopted at birth in 1997, grew up in Orlando with a mother who was a Cuban refugee and schoolteacher and a father who was a Kansas-born musician.”

And he’s no stranger to politics. In 2012, Frost volunteered for President Obama’s re-election campaign and Sen. Bernie Sander’s campaign in 2016 as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s run for president.

Driven by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Frost worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, “and later became a national organizer for the youth-led advocacy group March for Our Lives, which focuses on enacting stricter gun control measures.

While Frost was encouraged to step into the political arena, he passed. He changed his mind, however, when he learned that his “biological mother, who had seven other children and gave birth to him at the most vulnerable point in her life, had given him up because she did not have the resources to care for him,” The Times reports.

“Just hearing about the hardships she went through as a woman of color really solidified my beliefs,” Frost said. “I hung up the phone and said, ‘I’m running for Congress.’”

Frost became motivated to run “for people like my biological mother, for my family and for my district [and] to fight to ensure that the condition doesn’t exist for anybody.”

On his campaign website, Frost writes, “As a National Organizer with the ACLU, I pushed Joe Biden to agree to abolish the Hyde Amendment, an act that has limited abortion access for millions of people. I organized the movement that restored voting rights to 1.6 million Floridians with previous felonies. I’ve led thousands of young activists in the fight against gun violence as the National Organizing Director of March for Our Lives.”

When asked about the ever-present battlefield in Washington, Frost told CNN’s Jake Tapper, that his focus is “not Red versus Blue. It’s the people versus the problem.”

And one of the biggest problems Frost is setting out to solve is an issue that many have tried and failed to accomplish: Medicare for all.

“The United States has failed to provide a basic social minimum to its citizens, Frost writes. “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us just how cruel and irrational employer-based private insurance is, leaving millions of newly unemployed Americans without care when they needed it most. Americans get sicker, die younger, and pay more for their healthcare than any of their peers in comparable nations. Death and sickness are driven by the greed of private insurers, the indifference of easily corrupted politicians, and wall street speculation.”

And the other issues Frost wants to tackle: ending gun violence; the pandemic response; re-imagining justice; housing and transit; and the climate crisis, which Frost labels, Environmental Justice.

“The greatest challenge facing our country and the world is the climate crisis,” Frost writes. “The effects of climate disasters are compounded by already existing inequalities of class and race. Frankly, the continuity of the species depends on whether or not we transition from a carbon-dependent economy to one which is powered by green technologies and green jobs. If there is a future, it is a green future. We cannot hesitate and we cannot let big oil, big business, and the 1% decide our fates for us.”

Frost has an ambitious agenda. It’s a good thing is only 25 because he’s going to need all the energy and persistence to fulfill his action list.

However, his biggest challenge will be to bring both sides to the table to reach consensus on legislation that has largely been sidelined by the ever-present battle between Red v. Blue.

Maxwell Frost just might be a new hope, the Luke Skywalker of Congress, because change can’t wait!


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