Zach Wahls *18
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Zach Wahls *18 will be the next leader of Iowa’s state Senate Democrats. He was elected to his first term in the state Senate in 2018. — Des Moines Register

Speaking at a University of Pennsylvania event, Harvard professor Cornel West *80 criticized the Democratic Party for fetishizing identity politics and choosing to protect corporate America over working people. — The Daily Pennsylvanian
Kerry Brodie ’12 has reopened Emma’s Torch, a Brooklyn restaurant that’s also a training program for refugees, largely to give back jobs to refugee staffers and students. — Eater New York

Vanderbilt law professor Robert Mikos ’95 said changing attitudes are driving marijuana legalization in the U.S. — people are realizing it’s less harmful than they thought. — The Guardian

Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ’72 told the Federalist Society “in an unusually caustic and politically tinged speech” that liberals are a growing threat to religious liberty and free speech. — The New York Times

Harvard professor Dr. Benjamin Sommers ’00 said that a public option would reduce health-care costs for patients, but without a universal approach, such as a single-payer system, “there will always be some people who fall between the cracks and end up without coverage.” — Healio

Senegal-based designer Wilglory Tanjong ’18 founded a line of luxury handbags that’s gone viral on Twitter and become popular with fashion influencers. — Black Enterprise

Maggie Betts ’99 will direct Amazon’s The Burial starring Jamie Foxx, based on a true New Yorker story about a bankrupt funeral home owner who “hires a flamboyant attorney.” — Deadline

“Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.”

— Michelle Obama ’85 after the presidential election, tweeting congratulations but also caution for the country’s path ahead. — USA Today

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ’71 ruled that a Virginia prison ministry known as the “God pod” gave Christians preferential treatment, violating the constitutional rights of Muslim inmates. — The Christian Post

Harvard professor Joseph Nye ’58 said “if Trump been re-elected, the damage to the international system of multilateral institutions and alliances would have been very difficult to repair.” — Project Syndicate

James A. Johnson *68, who saw homeownership as a vehicle for social improvement and built mortgage giant Fannie Mae into a powerhouse, died at age 76. — The Washington Post

Author Laura Vanderkam ’01 gave advice on working from home: Create an office, shorten meetings, don’t always respond to emails immediately, and prepare for possibly working remote for the long haul. — Forbes