Art piece from ChangeTheRef founder honoring his late son, hangs in Rep. Maxwell Frost’s office
Manuel Oliver’s piece honoring his late son hangs in the D.C. office of Florida’s new U.S. Representative.
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The U.S.’s newly sworn-in elected officials have been moving into their new offices in recent weeks, and making themselves at home on Capitol Hill.
From Rep. Monica De La Cruz displaying her fandom for the late singer, Selena, and hanging a picture of her in her office, and now the youngest member of the House, Maxwell Frost, is paying tribute with a decorative piece that was gifted specifically to him.
On Jan. 18, Po Murray, Chair of the Newtown Action Alliance, a national grassroots group formed after the Sandy Hook shooting to bring about changes to school shootings, and organizer for the Women’s March CT, went to Capitol Hill, where she met with 16 freshmen house representatives to ask for their support in their endeavors.
She also visited Frost's new D.C. office where she spoke with his chief of staff, Yuri Beckelman.
“Yesterday, we met with 16 freshmen house reps to urge them to support @NewtownAction’s gun violence prevention priorities & today we had a great conversation with Rep @MaxwellFrostFL’s chief of staff @YuriBeckelman under @manueloliver00’s artwork honoring his son Joaquin,” she tweeted.
Murray and another colleague tweeted a picture out as they sat underneath an art piece from ChangeTheRef (CTR) founder, Manuel Oliver, that honors his late son Joaquin, whom he lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida back in 2018.
Manuel and Patricia Oliver founded CTR in the memory of their son Joaquin who was one of the 17 victims lost that horrific day. They created the organization to make sure that the lives of the victims are not forgotten, as well as ensure that real change happens to prevent future tragedies like this.
Frost could not be there but was sure to let them know that they are not alone in their fight.
“Bummed I missed y’all but happy you got to meet my great Chief! Honored to be in this fight with you,” he tweeted.
Manuel Oliver has been a major public supporter of Frost since his campaign launched.
“The real victory from yesterday has the name “Maxwell Frost” Today marks the beginning of a new era, which will require us to renew strategies and define our mission. We must help @MaxwellFrostFL get real things done. @Team_Enough @bradybuzz,” Oliver tweeted on the night of Frost’s election victory.
As explained in Frost’ New Yorker profile, author of the piece, Stephania Taladrid, paints a scene in which after a third round of voting for the House Speaker, Frost returned to his office where business cards from trade unions, advocacy groups, and lobbyists, who had earlier that day met with him, on his desk, but was otherwise, an empty office, with the exception of Oliver’s piece.
“A single piece of art hung next to Frost’s new desk. It was a large canvas, which took up an entire wall, with two portraits side by side: one of Frost, and the other of Joaquin Oliver, a 17-year-old student who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, in Parkland, nearly five years ago,” she wrote.
She goes on to explain the piece was a gift from Manuel, who had painted it during Frost’s campaign. Across the canvas it says, “TIME TO SAVE LIVES! SO, GET ON BOARD OR GET OUT OF OUR WAY!” and Frost sees it as a symbol of what he stands for.
“It’s an image meant to last,” Manuel told Taladrid. “A daily, living reminder from Joaquin to Maxwell, his people, and any of the members who set foot in that office.”