Christopher O'Donnell, Vulnerable Communities Reporter

Christopher O'Donnell

Vulnerable Communities Reporter

I’m a political junkie and I love literature so this job fits like a glove. But journalism wasn’t my first career. I was born and grew up in England and programmed computers for a living. I switched to reporting when I moved to Florida in 2001. I got my first break at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune after earning a journalism degree from the University of South Florida. I joined the Tampa Bay Times in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Tampa Tribune, where I covered city halls on both sides of Tampa Bay. When I’m not shouting at cable news, I love watching real football from England (alright, soccer) and riding my road bike on trails.

Interview: Howard Schultz makes case for independent run for White House

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz [Sakchai Lali | AP]
The billionaire and former Starbucks CEO talks climate change, health care, offshore drilling and gun control. Yes he knows about Ross Perot.

Bob Buckhorn's shamrock leg-acy

Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn wears his signature Saint Patrick Day themed pants for the last time during the 8th Annual Mayor’s River O’Green Fest at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa.    [TAILYR IRVINE   |   Times]
After eight years in office, Buckhorn presides over his final River O'Green, a last outing for those shamrock pants.

Feeding Tampa Bay wants to do more than feed needy families

Feeding Tampa Bay Executive Director Thomas Mantz outlines the group’s plan to try and reduce how many families need the help of the food bank at an event at the  Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research Thursday.  [Courtesy of Feeding Tampa Bay]
The nonprofit will keep feeding the hungry. But it also wants to address the issues that lead to food insecurity.

700 more children to get free swim lessons as Hillsborough looks to tackle spike in drownings

Whitney Fullington looks back at her mother Ashley as she climbs out of the pool during a drowning prevention class at Seal Swim School in Lutz. Last year, child drownings in Hillsborough country spiked to at least 11 cases, more than the previous two years combined. Hillsborough County has made an extra $50,000 available for a swim safety program for children aged under 5. [BRONTE WITTPENN | Times]
Commissioners provide extra $50,000 for swim safety after 11 children drown in Hillsborough County in 2018, the highest in the state.

Why is a Jacksonville personal injury law firm helping to challenge Hillsborough’s transportation tax?

Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White has filed his own lawsuit seeking to strike down the county's one-cent sales tax for transportation. {CHRIS URSO/STAFF]
Supporters of Hillsborough's transportation tax question the tax scofflaw behind a new lawsuit seeking to strike down the levy.