The votes are in and here’s who should be on the $20 bill
Ever since the non-profit grassroots campaign Women On 20s caught our attention with their totally amazing cause to get a strong, powerful woman on the 20 dollar bill in place of Andrew Jackson, we’ve been SO excited at the prospect of getting some female fabulosity on our money. And we aren’t the only ones. The campaign’s list of supporters is quite star-studded, including Ellen Degeneres, Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, and Padma Lakshmi.
Women On 20s had initially held a vote featuring 15 heroines of history, then whittled it down to four amazing women: Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller.
And now, the votes are finally in. America has chosen. According to the website, over 600,000 people cast their votes, and the woman who we will be pushing to be on the 20 dollar bill is . . . drumroll, please . . . Harriet Tubman!
Tubman is certainly worthy of commemoration. She was an abolitionist and an escaped slave, as well as a Union spy who helped to free hundreds of slaves via the Underground Railroad. Who better than her to be on the face of our $20 bill?
The organizers of Women On 20s have submitted petitions to the White House, “urging President Barack Obama to direct the Treasury Secretary to begin the process of replacing the image of President Andrew Jackson with that of a woman of great stature who played a significant role in American history,” according to a statement. And we could not possibly be more on board.
“Our paper bills are like pocket monuments to great figures in our history,” Women On 20s executive director Susan Ades Stone said in the statement. “Our work won’t be done until we’re holding a Harriet $20 bill in our hands in time for the centennial of women’s suffrage in 2020.”
The movement technically only needs a “nod” from President Obama or Jack Lew, treasury secretary, but legislative bodies in various states and cities have supported the campaign. Now that Tubman has been chosen, Women On 20s is aiming to get the White House moving—and we wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if they met their goal. After all, they’ve got national attention and support from various celebrities and politicians, as illustrated in the video petition posted this week.
According to the Washington Post, press secretary Josh Earnest said that Tubman is a “wonderful choice” for our currency, but didn’t mention whether President Obama supports the bill. However, he did mention in a July speech that when a little girl wrote to him asking why there are no women on U.S. currency, he thought it was a “pretty good idea.”
“Our work is not over,” said Women On 20s founder Barbara Ortiz Howard in the statement, “but our triumph is that the simple truth that women deserve to be valued more in our culture was heard and echoed by young and old, not only across the country, but around the world.”
You can help further this amazing cause by tweeting the hashtag #DearMrPresident. We’re so excited to celebrate the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman, and we implore the White House to listen up to the voices of the American people.