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High Voltage Women
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High Voltage Women: Breaking Barriers at Seattle City Light

by Ellie Belew

The gripping story of how a multi-racial group of woman warriors put their bodies on the line to gain a foothold in the male and largely white electrical trades at Seattle's publicly owned utility.

This important new history tells the story of women's fight to gain entry into electrical trades at Seattle City Light beginning in the 1970s. Female pioneers came forward to implement affirmative action in the face of life-threatening sexism and racism. Some saw the trades as just a means to a better paycheck. But other, more radical, participants sought to build alliances with men of color, white male union members, and office staff to change the culture of discrimination at City Light and in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 77. High Voltage Women offers insights into the role of feminists in Seattle's vibrant activist and labor movements and exposes the sorry record of city politicians who acted as roadblocks to social progress.

Community historian Ellie Belew has captured the drama, the events, and the personalities in an extensively researched saga. Belew is the author of Bringing Power to the People, the history of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #77, and Fully Involved, which records the experiences of Washington's professional fire fighters and their role in the labor movement.

20.00 - 224 pages - Photos, index, notes
ISBN 978-0-932323-34-7

Book Reviews
New York Labor History Association, by Francine Moccio, author of Live Wire: Women and Brotherhood in the Electrical Industry
The Stranger by Rich Smith
Pekin Times review by Bill Knight
Review by tradeswoman poet Susan Eisenberg
Weekly Volcano review by Christina Butcher
Freedom Socialist
San Francisco Bay View

Sample the book(pdfs)
--Table of Contents
--Preface and Introduction
--Chapter 1. A Time for Transformers

Video and Audio
--Seattle Channel documentary on City Light tradeswomen past and present
--WBAI interview of author Ellie Belew with slideshow
--Melbourne, Australia High Voltage Women event
--Hear from Ellie Belew and Megan Cornish on "Building Bridges" radio