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Lauren Chooljian

Lauren Chooljian

City Politics Reporter

Lauren is WBEZ's city politics reporter.

She started at WBEZ as an intern in 2011 and has since covered a variety of topics, including the 2015 Chicago mayoral election and runoff, the economics of ice cream trucks, Cook County and Chicago budgets, aldermanic boxing tournaments and everything in between.

Lauren is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her reporting has earned her awards from the AP and a regional Murrow Award. In 2014, her voice was featured on a best-of list in the Chicago Tribune culture section for its “unpretentious, Peppermint Patty scratchiness” which her family especially appreciated.

Lauren holds a Master of Science in Journalism from Medill and graduated with an Honors B.A from Saint Anselm College where she majored in History. Her work has been featured The Washington Post, NPR, Marketplace and Jezebel, among others.

She is a proud New Hampshire native, but these days you’ll find her in Logan Square.

Recent Stories

Every Other Hour

'Do I Look Like I'm Packing?' Chicago’s 50 Aldermen On Whether They Carry A Gun

In a city threatened by gun violence, how many City Council members choose to carry their own weapon?


Report: Pritzker Sought Political Appointment From Blagojevich In 2008

The gubernatorial candidate's conversation with then-Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on FBI wiretaps, the 'Chicago Tribune' reports.

WBEZ Updates

Chicago IG Suggests Cost Savings In Contract Negotiations

Collective bargaining agreements cover 90 percent of city workers, including police officers and firefighters.


Popular Music Store Finds New Home On Navy Pier

A classic Chicago music store that was squeezed out of Midway Airport has found a new home on Navy Pier.


How Would Trump’s Budget Affect Illinois?

The cuts won't be deeper in Illinois, but residents could be hit especially hard because of the state's budget impasse.

Curious City

Why Do Chicago Aldermen Always Vote For What The Mayor Wants?

Most aldermen almost always vote with the mayor, but that's starting to change.

WBEZ Updates

Northside Aldermen Promise More Affordable Housing

A group of aldermen on Chicago’s north and northwest sides promise to build more affordable housing in their neighborhoods.


Emanuel Aide: CPS Likely Needs $596 Million To Finish School Year

The city's chief financial officer said CPS has yet to receive $467 million it expected in block-grant payments from the state.

WBEZ Updates

CPS Funding Another Variable Fight Over Sale Of Thompson Center

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the sale of the James R Thompson Center could benefit Chicago Public Schools.


Emanuel Adds More Complications To Thompson Center Sale

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says there’s a big open question: What’s going to happen to the Clark and Lake Blue Line stop?


Convicted Burglars Offer Frank Advice To Chicagoans

Seven former burglars dished out some blunt advice about protecting homes, touching upon everything from tiny dogs to the cable guy.


Chicago EPA Workers Learn To Tone Down The Science Talk

In an effort to become more media-friendly, Chicago EPA employees hired a publicist to them the "gift of gab."


City Crackdown On Party Buses Doesn’t Ban Legal Guns

Party buses with 15 or more people will be required to have a security guard and surveillance camera by this summer.


Aldermen Propose Changes To Airport Security After United Passenger Fiasco

One measure seeks to give police greater control over airport security. Another proposal limits when city employees can board a plane.


United Passenger Fiasco Sparks Security Review At Chicago Airports

Chicago's aviation commissioner said a security expert is reviewing procedures after a man was dragged off a United flight at O'Hare.


Javy Baez Gets Honorary Street In Humboldt Park

The Cubs’ star infielder Javier Baez now has his own honorary street in Chicago.


One Arrest Made In Facebook Live Sexual Assault

A 14-year-old has been charged for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl in North Lawndale that was streamed live on Facebook.


Chicago Picks Company To Replace 85 Percent Of City's Streetlights

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is introducing the proposal at a City Council meeting Wednesday morning.


Aldermen Criticize CPD For Gun, Sex Offender Registries

Some Chicago aldermen questioned the number of registered gun offenders given the city’s gun violence.


CTA To Manufacture New Train Cars In Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority will soon be sourcing its new rail cars from a factory on the Southeast Side.

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