The Treasury Department is stripping Alexander Hamilton off the $10 bill, to be replaced with a woman yet to be determined.
“Democracy is the theme for the next redesigned series and the Secretary will select a woman recognized by the public who was a champion for democracy in the United States,” Treasury said last night, stressing that even though they’ll have public input forum the final selection will not be a democratic one. “While the Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for final decision on all design features, he will receive regular updates on the public feedback as he considers new design aspects and the portrait selection for the $10 note.”
At her press conference today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was happy that Hamilton was getting the boot — and had some suggestions for his replacement.
“I would add Frances Perkins, who is the first woman Cabinet officer and the author of Social Security. She certainly has affected many lives,” Pelosi said, referencing the Labror secretary who served from 1933 to 1945.
“I’m a big fan of so many of the women who are being suggested, and any one of them, it would — it would be absolutely great. Who are they talking about? Well, in any event, any one of them would be great. But I would add her name to the list.”
The campaign to bump Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill suggested names of women in American history including Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.
“All of them — all of them are women of courage who have made a difference, and I’ve tried to respect some of them when I was Speaker or — some of it didn’t come to fruition until after, but we got started even before, and that’s with a statue to Rosa Parks in the Capitol,” Pelosi continued. “The — Sojourner Truth, a bust of Sojourner Truth in the Capitol, Helen Keller — we have a statue to her. All of this when we came in and said interesting gentlemen, but we have others who have contributed to the success of our country.”
“So I’m pretty excited about it all, but — all of the names that have been suggested. You might want to look at some other denominations as well. Why should we be confined to one?”
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said in a statement on the switch that “America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for.”
“Our paper bills—and the images of great American leaders and symbols they depict—have long been a way for us to honor our past and express our values,” said Lew. “We have only made changes to the faces on our currency a few times since bills were first put into circulation, and I’m proud that the new 10 will be the first bill in more than a century to feature the portrait of a woman.”