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Milla Surjadi - Local Government Reporter

Local Government Reporter

I grew up in New York City and am a rising junior at Duke University, where I serve as the editor-in-chief of The Duke Chronicle. I fell in love with journalism because it asks nothing of us, except to be ready to learn everything. I’m passionate about the power of local journalism to enact change in communities, especially through stories about local government that tend to slip between the cracks. When I’m not writing, you can find me at a farmer’s market, thrifting, or talking about my love for Twilight. Got a story idea? Let me know. I’m eager to listen and learn.

  1. Jennifer Wilson, Berny Jacques and Dipak Nadkarni are the Republican candidates for House District 59.
  2. Organizers gathered outside City Hall during a sleep-in protest on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in St. Petersburg. Organizers want City Council to declare a housing state of emergency and to put rent control on the November election ballot.
  3. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor's Chief of Staff John Bennett said council members whom he did not name made "no-motion requests" for a review of their salaries in anticipation of budget talks. Castor's budget proposal would boost the pay of council members by more than $20,000.
  4. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is proposing that $25.5 million in her budget be spent on affordable housing. Some City Council members say that may not be enough.
  5. Karla Correa, 22, an organizer of the St. Petersburg Tenants Union, advocates for rent control during a St. Petersburg City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
  6. Citizens protesting high rents gather across the street of City Hall during an emergency sleep-in protest organized by the St. Pete Tenants Union on Wednesday in St. Petersburg.
  7. The carcass of a giant African land snail decays in its shell in the back yard at East Richey Lawn Mower and Equipment earlier this month. The state has confirmed that some snails they've found in Pasco County have tested positive for rat lungworm, which poses a danger to human who consume them.
  8. Fire rescue recruits are sworn in by Tampa City Clerk Shirley Foxx-Knowles before receiving their badges to start their careers as official Tampa Fire Rescue firefighters in November 2021. On Thursday, the Tampa City Council approved new contracts calling for 18.5% raises over the next three years for police, firefighters and other unionized workers.
  9. A giant living African land snail rests on a machine cart after it was collected from land adjacent to the workshop behind Jay Pasqua’s East Richey Lawn Mower and Equipment business on July 18 in Pasco County.
  10. Developers of what was originally called Blue Lotus, a proposed apartment tower, are now looking to increase the number of residencies. The project continues to be criticized as out of keeping with the next door Flori de Leon apartments.
  11. James Ficken, who accrued nearly $30,000 in code violation fines in 2018 for an overgrown lawn, sued Dunedin in 2019 after the city moved to foreclose on his home, setting off a three-year legal battle.
  12. Jay Pasqua, owner of East Richey Lawn Mower and Equipment in New Port Richey, holds a trio of living giant African land snails which he discovered roaming on property bordering his workshop on Monday, July 18, 2022 in Pasco County. The property has become the epicenter of the snail invasion.
  13. St. Petersburg residents attend a community conversation about the redevelopment of the Historic Gas Plant District at the Center for Health Equity in St. Pete on Tuesday.
  14. An aerial view looking north showing the Dade City Wastewater Treatment Plant with Mickens Field in the background on Monday, April 11, 2022 in Dade City. The construction of a wastewater plant in the middle of a historic Black community back in the 1950s has had lasting effect on the residents of the Mickens-Harper neighborhood in Dade City.
  15. St. Petersburg City Council member Brandi Gabbard advocated for the housing stipend for the city's lowest paid workers.
  16. Construction of the Julia apartment tower continues to be criticized as out of keeping with the next-door Flori de Leon apartments.
  17. A drilling tower was used to drill into a well that will reach an underground cave with a storage capacity of 15 million gallons at the Southwest Water Reclamation Facility. The storage tank behind it holds 10 million gallons. These sewage improvements were made in 2017 as part of the city's state-mandated $326 million program to repair and upgrade its sewage system. But residents could face more rate increases to pay for it all. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  18. The home where author Jack Kerouac spent the last years of his life is located at 5169 10th Ave. N.
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