New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen introduced legislation on Wednesday that would recommend that the Treasury Secretary “convene a panel of citizens” who would debate which woman could replace Andrew Jackson on the $20.
A grassroots campaign, Women on 20s, has earned major buzz for pushing this idea — hundreds of thousands of people have voted on the group’s website for which woman they would like to see on U.S. currency (Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks are favorites). “Our paper currency is an important part of our everyday lives and reflects our values, traditions and history as Americans,” Shaheen said in a statement. “It’s long overdue for that reflection to include the contributions of women.”
Susan Ades Stone, executive director of Women on 20s, told the Associated Press this week that she was “not under any illusions that the person who comes out of our polling will be the person who ends up on a bill because there is a process and that process usually involves empaneling a group of experts to make certain design choices.” However, the group does plan to reach out to the White House and show off the support for their idea soon.
Daily Intelligencer wrote about the political difficulties of changing currency in late March. “There’s an inherent conservatism when it comes to money here,” Matthew Wittmann, assistant curator of American coins and currency at the American Numismatic Society, said, explaining why the faces on dollar bills hadn’t changed since 1929.