Shouldn’t the event be free for the people?

Via SF Chronicle:

From Barack Obama to Kamala Harris to current Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, San Francisco progressive funder Steve Phillips has championed a lot of top Democrats before it was trendy to do so.

So hours after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez roared through San Francisco for two fundraisers Tuesday, Phillips knew why the 28-year-old has become the left’s latest superstar.

It wasn’t just that she defeated 10-term Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in a New York City primary.

“What’s so compelling is that how unapologetic she is about progressive politics,” said Phillips, a former San Francisco school board member who was a co-sponsor of one of the fundraisers. It was the first time he’d met her.

Plus, Phillips said, Ocasio-Cortez embodies what the American electorate will look like in coming years: “She’s a person of color. A woman. Young. Unapologetic. And energetic. That’s the way to inspire a new generation.”

Many who attended Ocasio-Cortez’s sold-out fundraisers said they felt the same thing. At the second one, the line to enter the 800-person capacity Gray Area performance space on Mission Street stretched around 23rd Street. It was a younger, more racially diverse line than you’ll see at the typical political event.

Inside, it was loud and the vibe passionate — none of the strained enthusiasm found at the average rally. Many said they were excited for the rare opportunity to see a politician whose experiences were like theirs.

“She looks like us, she talks like us and she represents the values that we have,” said Rigoberto Marquez, an Oakland resident whose parents immigrated to the U.S. “You don’t see many people like that who are authentic like she is.”

Ah, being authentic. A lot of politicians, particularly those reared in the YouTube generation, talk about sounding authentic. But few can actually do it with the … authenticity … of Ocasio-Cortez. Her mother was born in Puerto Rico, and Ocasio-Cortez speaks with the authority of someone whose life resonates with people of color, who make up 70 percent of her district.

That energy was evident soon after she bounded onto the stage in San Francisco and explained her newfound celebrity just like your buddy might over a beer.

“There is no, like, normal way to prepare as a human being for what is happening,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Literally, a couple of months ago, I was bartending in Union Square” — the one in Manhattan.

Moments later, the room hushed when she got serious. She explained how too many people are earning less than living wages and are burdened by “unconscionable” amounts of debt. Only those who inherit money can afford to live in many cities, she noted.

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