The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that a woman will appear on the $10 bill starting 2020.
Although the decision legally rests with Secretary Jack Lew, he announced that he will consider public opinion to decide which historical figure should appear on the paper currency. The new woman figure will replace Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. secretary of Treasury.
Lew said, “We’re going to spend a lot of time this summer listening to people.”
A decision could be made by this fall, as reported by USA Today.
People will be able to suggest who they want to see on the $10 bill by accessing The New 10 website or using hashtag #theNew10 on Twitter.
“Our democracy is a work in progress,” Lew said. “This decision of putting a woman in the $10 bill reflects our aspirations for the future as much as a reflection of the past.”
He added that “democracy will be the theme of these new notes.”
According to NBC News, a debate to put a woman on the $20 bill (to replace Andrew Jackson, who was against the idea of paper currency) gave rise to an unofficial “Women on 20s” campaign earlier this year, which saw in excess of 100,000 votes from people who said they wanted to see Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. The campaign was further encouraged by President Barack Obama in September when he said that “a young girl wrote to ask me why aren’t there any women on our currency.”
However, it is not the first time a woman will appear on the U.S. currency; as reported by CNBC, Martha Washington and Pocahontas both featured on bills in the 1800’s.
People in support of keeping Alexander Hamilton on the bill will not be disappointment by the new decision. His image will “definitely” continue in some of the new notes, according to Lew.
Lew further said, “It was personally very important to me to make sure that as we make this decision we continue to honor Alexander Hamilton, who played such a formative role in the creation of our country, the establishment of democracy as we know it, and the principle of the soundness of our currency.”
Releasing the new $10 bill in 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave every citizen the right to vote without being discriminated on the basis on sex.
It is unlawful to have a living person feature on a bill. George Washington cannot be replaced on the $1.
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