Out of four extraordinary women, America chose Harriet Tubman to grace the $20 bill last month. The vote was commissioned by Women on 20s, a feminist group lobbying to change the $20 by 2020. Well, the U.S. government heard us loud and clear — they’re putting a woman on our money, National Journal reports.
But before you celebrate, there will be a few changes to the group’s plans — a woman will be replacing Andrew Hamilton, not Andrew Jackson. The Treasury Department has selected the $10 bill, as opposed to the $20 bill, as the new home for our leading lady, which may or may not be Tubman.
And perhaps “replacing” isn’t the right word — “sharing” is more fitting. The Treasury will not be nixing $10 star Andrew Hamilton; they will simply circulate a new set of $10 bills. Ades Stone, executive director of Women on 20s, is not too content with this decision.
“The fact that a women will be sharing the bill—it seems like a hedge in a way,” Stone said, according to National Journal. And given Jackson’s anti-native American legacy, Women on 20s believed that a replacement was long overdue.
But overall, Stone is satisfied.
“Our money is going to reflect who we are as a society now,” Stone said. “This should be the next best thing. We’ve been asking for historic change and this is the first step.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat who pushed to get a woman on the $20 bill, co-signed with Stone: “While it might not be the twenty dollar bill, make no mistake, this is a historic announcement and a big step forward,” Shaheen said.
It is also unclear whether the Treasury will honor the Harriet Tubman vote. This decision is all up to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
“We’re going to spend a lot of time this summer listening to people,” Lew said. A final decision, according to USA Today, could be made by this fall.
Another drawback is the fact that the bill might not be in circulation by 2020. Stone said 2020 is ideal because it would be the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote.
“It’s a little disappointing to hear they may not make that deadline,” Stone said. “In that way, it is not a victory for us. But I do think that it is a historic change, and for that I am really pleased.”