A New $20 Bill?

13 May 2015  
If a popular Internet campaign is successful, your $20 bill just might have a new face on it. 

Currently, Andrew Jackson is pictured on the face of the United States $20 bill. But the Women On 20s (W20) organization believes that it’s time he’s replaced - with a woman. 

Why the $20? To mark 2020, which is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment allowing women to vote. Besides, as the W20 campaign points out, Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, was instrumental in the Congressional passage of the “Indian Removal Act of 1830”, which is also known as the Trail of Tears. Jackson was also opposed to the central banking system, and favored gold or silver coins over paper currency. 

Over a period of 10 weeks, the W20 organization asked for the public to vote online on just which woman should grace the $20 bill. The choices were:

  • Alice Paul
  • Betty Friedan
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Rachel Carson
  • Barbara Jordan
  • Margaret Sanger
  • Patsy Mink
  • Clara Barton
  • Frances Perkins
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • Rosa Parks
  • Wilma Mankiller

256,659 people voted in the first round, resulting in the following finalists: 

  • Harriet Tubman
  • Eleanor Roosevelt 
  • Rosa Parks
  • Wilma Mankiller

On May 10th, the winner was announced - Harriet Tubman. She received 118,328 votes out of 352,431 in the final round. 

The W20 campaign is not asking for Congress to approve the idea. Instead, their petition asks President Obama to simply order the Secretary of the Treasury to change the current portrait portrayed on the $20 bill from Andrew Jackson to Harriet Tubman. The goal is to have the new $20 bill ready to circulate in 2020, which will be the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Now the W20 organization is calling for a “virtual march” - asking people to use the #DearMrPresident in social media posts to show your support. 

In the original YouTube video introducing the campaign,  they ask for the American people to “cast millions of votes for historic change.” However, they didn’t get millions of votes, they didn’t even get one million votes. If you add up all the voters between the primary and final rounds, 609,090 people participated in the selection of Tubman. 

What do you think? Is 609K votes enough? Should a woman be on the $20? If so, do you agree that it should be Harriet Tubman? 

W20: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Lynne LaMaster