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Lauren Chooljian

Lauren Chooljian

City Politics Reporter

Lauren is WBEZ's city politics reporter.

Her reporting has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR, Jezebel, Marketplace, New Hampshire Public Radio, WAMU, and UPI, among others. She started at WBEZ as an intern, later becoming morning producer, then general assignment reporter and briefly interim business reporter. She also is a fill-in host for WBEZ’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition newscasts. She’s 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.

She’s an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where she teaches audio production courses to graduate students. 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. She’s also a board member of the Chicago branch of the Association for Women Journalists. She is a proud New Hampshire native, but these days you’ll find her in Logan Square.

Recent Stories


Emanuel Says His Opinion On Blagojevich Decision Doesn't Matter

"Regardless of what you thought of what former governor Blagojevich did, you could see the human toll on that family."


Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Late Entrance To The Democratic Convention

After the mayor skipped the first two days of the convention, some reporters questioned his status on the national political scene.


Congressman Luis Gutierrez On Obama's Presidential Legacy

Tonight, President Barack Obama takes the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. WBEZ’s Lauren Chooljian spoke with Illinois U.S. Congressman Luis Gutierrez about what Obama’s presidential legacy means to him.


Illinois Sanders Delegate Says Party Leaders Should Be More Welcoming

An Illinois delegate for Bernie Sanders says he wishes leaders of the Democratic party would be kinder to Sanders supporters.


Lisa Madigan's Political Future

llinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her father’s job as Speaker of the House continues to be a factor in her political future.


Illinois Delegation Show Unity At DNC

The Illinois Democratic Party got 90 seconds in the national spotlight last night - as delegates officially cast their votes for the party's nominee for president.


How Cook County's Board President Scored A Prime DNC Seat

Some Chicagoans watching the Democratic National Convention last night were SURPRISED to see Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in a prime seat.Preckwinkle joined former President Bill Clinton for the first lady’s speechWBEZ’s Lauren Chooljian found out just how that happened.


Illinois Democrats Divided On First Night Of DNC

There’s a clear divide on display at the DNC between Illinois’ Bernie Sanders supporters and those who are backing Hillary Clinton.


Illinois Democrats Kick Off Convention With Search For Gubernatorial Candidates

Illinois Democrats are making their priorities for the future of the state party clear: win back the governor’s seat.


Illinois Republicans Leave Cleveland Divided

Republicans returning to Illinois from the National Republican Convention remain divided despite a week that was supposed to bring unity.


Shared Beds And Hitting Thrift Stores: How Illinois Trump Delegates Are Cutting Costs In Cleveland

How are some Illinois Trump delegates trying to cut costs in Cleveland? Sharing a room with strangers and hitting the thrift stores.


Illinois’ Elected Republicans Continue To Wrestle With Supporting Trump

The Illinois delegation cast votes to make Donald Trump the party nominee, despite the reservations of many of the top leaders in the Illinois Republican Party.


Kasich Lunch Creates More Distrust Between The Illinois Republican Delegation

Donald Trump delegates from Illinois regretted attending an event with John Kasich while a floor fight erupted on Monday at the Republican National Convention.


Illinois Delegates Turn To GoFundMe For Trip To Conventions

Illinois delegates are using the website GoFundMe to help pay for their trips to the national political conventions.

All Things Considered

Some Trump RNC Delegates Surprised About Paying Their Own Way To Cleveland

“I was like, wait a minute, I've gotta pay to go vote for my man?" one of many first-time delegates said.


New York Architects To Design Obama Library In Chicago

New York firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will partner with Chicago-based Interactive Design Architects.


How A Chess Coach Got Caught In The Middle Of CPS And CTU Drama

A Chess coach at a southside elementary school has found himself in the middle of a fight between Chicago Public Schools and the teacher’s union.


New Rules For Uber, Lyft In Chicago

Chicago aldermen are adopting new regulations for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Morning Shift

Listing Your Home On Airbnb Just Got More Difficult

Aldermen have voted 43-7 to pass a slate of changes to the way Airbnb, VRBO and other short-term rental companies are regulated in the City of Chicago.


Chicago Aldermen OK Less Restrictive Ride-hailing Rules

After months of debate, the city council passed the measure without requiring fingerprint background checks.

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