Although I’m thrilled the U.S. Treasury has announced there will be a woman on paper currency in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, I’m disappointed she won’t depose Andrew Jackson.
Organizers of Women on 20s have been pressuring the Treasury Department for months now to dump Jackson and install a new woman leader on the $20, the feds have opted to put a woman on the $10. However, it’s my understanding that the $10 bill was already in the process of being redesigned, and that if any other denomination had been chosen, we would probably have had to wait another decade or more.
Apparently it takes a long time to develop new currency: according to New York Magazine‘s Jamie Fuller, “the first note in the last series of new dollar bills was released in 2003, the last one wasn’t ready until a decade later.” She notes that
when the Treasury Department and its pals over at the Secret Service, the Federal Reserve, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing thinks about redesigning money, stopping counterfeiters is the top priority. Any political concerns about currency are addressed only if they can be found to aid in that mission, or at least if there’s room for the concerns to piggyback on preexisting plans.
In addition to being the first US paper currency to feature a woman,
the new $10 will also be the first bill with tactile features to help the visually impaired. In case you had any doubts about how long it takes to design a new dollar bill, the D.C. District Court told the Treasury Department way back in 2008 that it needed to “take such steps as may be required to provide meaningful access to United States currency for blind and other visually impaired persons,” meaning that it will take more than a decade for the legally mandated change to happen.
So, I’ll take $10 for now rather than waiting; perhaps whomever is Treasury Secretary in 2030 will choose a woman for the next new $20 bill?
I think Treasury Secretary Lew should select Harriet Tubman, the the woman selected in the “Who should be on the $20?” poll. How about you? #TheNew10