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A new year, a new parliament begins. This week, Brittany Luse became the first member of Gen Z to become a Democrat. Congressman Maxwell Frost of Florida. They talk about his vision for the future, the literal cost of entering the Hall of Power, and the shoutouts from his favorite band after winning his election. Could it be better? NPR Congressional Correspondent Susan Davis shares her thoughts on Brittany’s New Year’s resolutions for lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
Highlights of the interview below are: It’s Been A Minute. Please follow us Apple podcasts Also Spotifyto keep you up to date twitterThese excerpts have been edited for length and clarity.
About the comments from The 1975
Congressman Maxwell Frost: I’m kidding, there are two moments when I finally thought of going to Congress. The first was when I went to the House of Representatives for the first time on Sunday night after being elected. But more than that, standing in front of the national anthem was [music] Venue in DC with my best friends and family and the people I love. And since 2013, like in high school, they’ve listened to my favorite bands and screamed at me. It was like 3 minutes, 4 minutes and then they dedicated a great song “Love It If We Made It” to me. And how moving was it? I cried, jumped, and seemed to have a great time.
Brittany Ruth: Frankly, it’s one of the most Gen Z political songs I’ve heard, referring to everything from Lil Peep and opioids to police violence and Donald Trump. Thematically, there seems to be a lot out there, and it makes sense that they would dedicate the song to you.
frost: What I like to talk about when people ask me about Generation Z is that I don’t see myself as representative of this generation. Generation Z Leaders – Teachers, Clerics, Artists. We all represent our generation. So when I talk about generations… there’s a lot of trauma that binds us together. I ask people from different generations about the really defining moment for their generation. I guess. For others, you’ll hear about the post-9/11 when the country really came together, I was like he was 3 years old when 9/11 happened. right. And so, like the post, you know, despite our differences, our country is coming together. i don’t remember that. It wasn’t an important part of my life. Not because it’s not important.
Ruse: No, [but] Because you were like learning to count.
frost: I was taking a nap. So for me, when I think about things like the key moments of my generation, I think of the lynching of George Floyd, a black man in broad daylight. And see it on Twitter. Here he recalls the parklands of Pulse, where 49 angels were killed. Because they’re queer, they think of Little Peep the way they think of Breonna Taylor. I think about all this trauma and death that our generation has really lived and marinated in…and now we’re grown up and we know things are screwed up. And we want to be part of the solution.
About being the youngest in the room
Ruse: How will you continue to champion the issues you care about, such as gun violence and the climate crisis? Issues like these are the most important issues for Gen Z. But many politicians of the baby boomers and silent generations do not always treat these issues with the same urgency.
frost: yes. No, 100%. To be clear, when I face ageism in Congress, most of the time it’s not someone coming up to me and saying, “You’re young. You don’t belong here.” Don’t be so blatant. be implicit. Just a little comment. I’ve always been the youngest in the room at many jobs, so I’m used to it.
So how do we get things done? What I always keep in mind is that we need to build coalitions and understand that I am not alone in addressing any of these issues. When we talk about the climate crisis, I’m not just talking about young people, but men and women across this country who are fighting because they understand that the cost of inaction is far greater than future crises. participate in the movement of The cost of taking bold action. In the words of Maya Angelou, “I come as her one, but I stand as her 10,000.” way to see. Not only is Maxwell Frost talking, but it’s the 10th congressional district that elected me here. Thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people believe in a world where everyone has the resources they need.
About the cost of being seated at a table
Ruse: You actually made headlines this year when you were elected and were denied an apartment in Washington, D.C. because of your low credit score. What intrigued me about that moment was that it was reported that at least part of your bad credit history was because you maxed out your credit cards to get a seat in Congress. What does that tell us about the barriers to entry for representing our community in Congress?
frost: The point of what I said about it was, first, to talk about the housing crisis that we have in this country right now. And the problem is when that entrance excludes the poor and working-class people who don’t have enough capital to run the campaign. [to] Finding a place to live after they win the campaign will determine who comes to power. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Congress’ net worth continues to climb. That’s exactly the point here. It’s not like Maxwell will be okay in two years. As a working-class organizer, [drive for] During its campaign, Uber racked up a ton of credit card debt because there was no real income to pay bills: working-class people running for and actually taking on these positions of power. How can these seats have real expression?
This episode of “It’s Been a Minute” was produced by Burton Girdwood, Liam McBain, Alexis Williams and Corey Antonio Rose. Interview with Maxwell Frost edited by Jessica Mendoza. Our managing editor is Jessica Placzek. Engineering support was provided by XYZ and fact checker was ABC. Our Executive Producer is Veralyn Williams. Yolanda Sangweni is VP of Programming and Senior VP of Programming is Anya Grundmann.