Episode 5: In the Future

Kiran discovers what's working in California today, despite hundreds of millions of dollars in resistance ​from the oil and gas industry.

Fair Shake Commission

All Americans deserve a fair shake at economic security, upward mobility and the American Dream. Yet today, even families once identified as middle class are slipping down the economic ladder at an alarming rate because our system favors a wealthy few at the expense of the struggling majority. The Fair Shake Commission is aiming to change that.

“This summer, when we faced a big legislative battle around whether California should set goals to cut oil use, the latest reports show that the oil industry was spending $30,000 a day lobbying against those provisions in California.” —Jason Barbose, Union of Concerned Scientists

California is the 8th largest economy in the world. It’s also home to a number of cities that consistently rank as having some of the dirtiest air in the nation. And it’s a state where economic insecurity and poverty coexist with unprecedented levels of wealth creation.

In Spotlight California’s final episode, Kiran discovers how some powerful companies protect their profits at the expense of the rest of us, even creating fake people-powered campaigns to get us to support them. Kiran may or may not use their tactics for her own purposes. (Okay, of course she does.)

Always in search of solutions, Kiran finds leaders working to decrease the inequality gap. If we don’t secure economic opportunity and education for everyone, our state’s future is in bad shape. That’s why a group of innovators have formed the Fair Shake Commission, to create a California that works for everyone.

PolicyLink’s Angela Glover Blackwell is one of the Fair Shake Commission members Kiran meets on her journey. “Looking at what you have and investing in what you have to get what you need. That’s equity,” says Blackwell. “California needs to roll up its sleeves again, invest in equity and make sure that the people who are going to be the future of California lead it into a bright and prosperous place.”

While it’s encouraging that there are already influential leaders giving a voice to the voiceless, it’s on all of us to be part of the solution. This is about our state, our communities and our collective health and prosperity.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for so let’s get this party (bus) started!

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Bonus Content

Comic Relief

Big Handshake

Kiran meets Jason Barbose with Union of Concerned Scientists and learns how oil companies use astroturf (fake grassroots) groups to sway public opinion. She decides to make an ad using their tactics to end something she doesn't like: hugs.

More Episodes

Episode 1 01.26.2016

Heart of the Drought

Kiran meets Tom Steyer, who sends her to the Central Valley to meet Californians who are facing a major injustice – they've run out of water.

Episode 2 02.02.2016

Water & Oil

Kiran visits the Central Valley's Cawelo Water District where the drought is causing farmers to use water produced in the oil drilling process to irrigate their crops. She takes in the smells so you don't have to.

Episode 3 02.09.2016

In Our Air

Kiran returns home to Los Angeles to investigate the hidden costs of pollution. Spoiler alert: we pay for it! 3.3 million Californians have asthma, and nowhere is pollution more rampant than in low-income communities.

Episode 4 02.16.2016

At the Pump

​Kiran tries to uncover ​where her gas money went. In 2015, Californians paid billions more for gasoline than the rest of the country. At the same time, oil companies reported record profits. ​ Slick.