Four Female Finalists Chosen to Replace Jackson on $20 Bill
Womenon20s, the group behind the online petition to remove President Andrew Jackson’s picture from the $20 bill, has finally revealed the names of its four finalists, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and former Cherokee Nation Chief, Wilma Mankiller. More than 256,000 voters were cast via their website since the polling began in March. Some of the candidates that were in the top 15 included Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, Rachel Carson as well as other notable female figures. The first round of voting began in March (which, not coincidentally, happened to be Women’s History month), and officially ended on Sunday.
“While only four candidates will move on to the next round, every one of the 15 candidates came out a winner because people of all ages across the country took the time to get to know them and pay them homage with their votes,” Susan Ades Stone, executive director of Womenon20s, stated in a news release on Monday.
There will be a final voting round on Womenon20s and when that wraps up, the group’s lead organizer, Barbara Ortiz Howard will then ask President Barack Obama to create a brand new $20 bill with the name of the chosen winner. The group’s main goal is to have the paper currency in circulation by 2020–which, again not coincidentally, is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. “There are no women on the money and I thought ‘gee, this is a crazy omission,” Howard said to CBS News last month.
Chief Wilma Mankiller, the most recent addition to the list of candidates, was the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, was added to the final ballot by popular demand in order to include a Native American candidate, according to the organization’s Womenon20s’ website. Mankiller served as the head chief for the Cherokee Nation from 1985 to 1995. She was noteworthy for her efforts improve the nation’s health care, education system and government. In 1995, Mankiller did not want to seek re-election due to her failing health. After leaving office, Mankiller remained a strong activist for Native American and Women’s rights right up until her death in April of 2010.
Upon learning of Mankiller’s death, President Barack Obama issued a brief statement. “As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, she transformed the nation-to-nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the federal government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America. Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work.”
Of course, Howard is not the only one who would like to see a female replace Jackson’s face on the infamous $20 bill. In fact, actress Susan Sarandon, has also put in her full-fledged support for this new movement. Just a few weeks ago, Sarandon, 68, came across a video on the Womenon20s website entitled “Where Are The Girls On The Money?” and was impressed with their positive message.
“I was excited to see that there was a positive mission afoot to bring attention to some of the greatest women in American history,” Sarandon said. “I liked how it was reframing the conversation about gender equality in a whole new way and decided to post a photo on social media that championed the cause and urged others to vote for one of the 15 incredible candidates on the Women on 20s website,”she explained. “Gender equality is a fight women in the United States have been waging for a long time,” she added. “It’s been a long and winding road with scores of brilliant women over the decades doing their part to push that boulder uphill.”
No deadline has been set yet for the second round of voting, but it will most likely be in a few weeks, according to Ades Stone. People interested in voting for any of the four remaining finalists, can place their ballots on Womenon20s.org.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
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