A man sits alone in an empty restaurant. | "I WAS THERE: As Restaurant Workers Struggle, This Man Fields Their Calls"

I WAS THERE: As Restaurant Workers Struggle, This Man Fields Their Calls

Since March the calls haven’t stopped for Manuel Villanueva, a community organizer with the Restaurant Opportunities Center. Thousands of cooks, waiters and dishwashers have struggled since then to survive since the shut down orders. In this episode of I WAS THERE, Villanueva recalls a particularly painful phone call and share how being on the receiving end of such calls is at times overwhelming.

 

About the Series

"I WAS THERE" is about telling a great story. This series of first-person accounts breaks current and historical events down to human scale, carefully taking the viewer behind some of Southern California’s biggest headlines.

Production team

Executive Producer: Karen Foshay 

Producers: Tori Edgar, Denise Chan & Michael Ray 

Photographers: Trevor Jackson, Karen Foshay

Editor/Graphics: Michael Ray, Andy Viner

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Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

The New Normal

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One of the nation's top high school athletes was on a path to the NFL, but instead became the poster child for what's wrong with L.A.'s mental health system. "SoCal Connected" documents the life and times of Dorsey High's Antonio Carrion.

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Under Pressure

Parents are willing to spend thousands to get the competitive edge in the college admissions process, but at what cost? Socal Connected takes a revealing look at the high stakes world of the for-profit education consultant business.

The following changes were made to the original episode:
Students featured in the #decisionday section were replaced with new photos.

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As California deals with the fallout of a global waste crisis, plastic manufacturers continue to spread misleading information about recycling, while spending big on lobbying efforts to keep their products on the shelves.

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