By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Support is growing for the campaign to replace the image of President Andrew Jackson on the U.S. twenty-dollar bill with that of a woman. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a bill (S.925) on Tuesday, April 14 that would “require the Secretary of the Treasury to convene a panel of citizens to make a recommendation to the Secretary regarding the likeness of a woman on the twenty dollar bill.”
Sen. Shaheen said in a statement on Wednesday, April 15, “Our paper currency is an important part of our everyday lives and reflects our values, traditions and history as Americans. It’s long overdue for that reflection to include the contributions of women. The incredible grassroots support for this idea shows that there’s strong support for a women to be the new face of the twenty-dollar bill.”
A separate group, known as Women on 20s, is running an online voting contest with four finalists to find a hopeful replacement for Jackson. The late Wilma Mankiller, former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is one of the four being considered by the group.
“Before we take this proposal to the White House, we want to make sure that the mandate is overwhelming,” said Ades Stone, Women on 20s executive director. “This vote of approval from a member of Congress will hopefully help further raise awareness of our campaign and send our numbers through the roof.”
Stone added that there is not a deadline for voting in their poll at http://www.womenon20s.org/vote2. Joining Chief Mankiller in the finals are Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), former U.S. First Lady; Harriet Tubman (ca. 1822 – 1913), former slave who helped many escape on the Underground Railroad; and Rosa Parks (1913-2005), civil rights leader famous for refusing to give up her bus seat.
The Women on 20s website listed Jackson’s involvement in the Indian Removal Act of 1830 as one reason to remove his image from the $20 bill. “He also helped gain Congressional passage of the ‘Indian Removal Act of 1830’ that drove Native American tribes of the southeastern United States off their resource-rich land and into Oklahoma to make room for white European settlers. Commonly known as the Trail of Tears, the mass relocation of Indians resulted in the deaths of thousands from exposure, disease and starvation during the westward migration. Not okay.”
Mankiller served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1985-95. In 1998, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Upon her passing in 2010, President Obama commented, “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.”
S.925 was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.