A campaign has started circulating recently to replace Andrew Jackson's mug on the $20 bill with one of the many astonishing women from American history.
The group behind the campaign, called Women on 20s, have whittled the list of nominees down to four final candidates, after logging hundreds of thousands of votes. The four finalists are fierce contenders, more than worthy of this prestigious honor which, let's be honest, should have been implemented decades ago.
The original list of candidates included 100 names. Women on 20s then whittled that down to 60, then down to 30 based on an informal, two-part survey. The organization then enlisted the help of historians and outsiders that brought that number to 15. This is when the public was invited to vote for their favorite fab female.
The response has been extraordinary. Tubman, Roosevelt and Parks received more than 100,000 votes each; and, while Mankiller didn't actually make it past the 30 count round, she was added to the final ballot after popular demand.
So why the $20 bill, you may ask? Well, it wasn't an arbitrary decision. The year 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th amendment, which finally granted women the right to vote. They also chose the $20 because, well, Andrew Jackson was kind of a dick. In 1830, he helped get the Indian Removal Act of 1830 passed, which is exactly what it sounds like: an Act that forced Native Americans to flee their land and their homes, commonly known as The Trail of Tears. That's the sort of upstanding dude we want on our money, right?
Women on 20s hopes to present their campaign to POTUS within the next few weeks, confident that he will be interested in what they have to say. In fact, they may even decide to leave voting open indefinitely, in the hopes that more public attention will pique the White House's interests.
Ultimately, the Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing has the final say of any likeness that goes on American currency; and only a deceased individual is eligible.
But who knows? If the Treasury Department and the White House DO get on board, committees could be formed and designs could be drawn up. The winner of the public vote may well not be the actual depiction on the bill if the change takes place, but the fact that this conversation is taking place in a serious way is pretty damn amazing in and of itself.
Vote for your favorite here!