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.

Bill to conceal names of foster parents would hamper accountability, critics say

The Florida Department of Children and Families is pushing a bill to keep secret the names of foster parents, saying it may help encourage more people to take up the job.
Child advocacy groups say a bill to protect the identity of foster parents will mean less oversight of child welfare.

State agrees to foster care reforms in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, but what about rest of Florida?

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The Florida Department of Children and Families settles class-action lawsuit filed by child advocates in South Florida but agreement applies only in that region.

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.