By Lauren Wanko
Imagine a newly redesigned $10 bill that features a notable woman. The Treasury Secretary announced that’ll happen. It’s expected to be unveiled in 2020.
“We should have a woman on our currency a long time ago. The Tubmans of the world — the people who gave so much to this country need to be recognized and if they’re on currency it’s even better,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell.
But Pascrell doesn’t want to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 note.
“This is a real founding father who I think he needs to be recognized and should be. I think that Secretary [Jack] Lew needs to take a look at this. I sent him a letter immediately,” Pascrell said.
He wants to see Andrew Jackson taken off the $20 and replaced with a prominent American female. Women on 20s — a grassroots non-profit — recently launched a campaign to do just that. It received overwhelming support.
“President Jackson on the $20. I think he was a decent president, but this guy doesn’t have a good reputation with Indian-Americans, doesn’t have a good reputation with African Americans. He was a slaveholder. And I think it would be a great idea maybe if he could share with someone else,” Pascrell said.
A press release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury indicates they selected the $10 note for redesign based on a number of factors, though the primary reason for redesigning currency is to address current and potential counterfeiting threats. So what will happen to Alexander Hamilton? The Treasury Department website states the Secretary has made clear that the image of Hamilton will remain part of the $10 note and they’re exploring many options including producing two bills.
“A woman shouldn’t have to share with anyone. She should have her own currency and the $20 has more of a circulation,” Pascrell said.
“Yeah we should have our own bill. Why not? We can do things just as good if not better than men,” said Lauren Kroll of Glen Rock.
The congressman says his office is being flooded with a tremendous amount calls and mail from people who feel the same way he does. They’re getting feedback from residents here in New Jersey, those throughout the country and they’re even hearing from people on the Virgin Islands.
“We’ve gotten calls from St. Croix where obviously Hamilton was born,” Pascrell said.
Andrew Jackson was actually on the first $10 Federal Reserve note issued in 1914. It changed in 1929 to a portrait of Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury. The most recent redesigned $10 note entered circulation in 2006, according to the Treasury Department. Although the Secretary makes the final decision, Treasury is asking the public for input on the redesigned theme — democracy.
“While I think Alexander Hamilton is a great American, I think it’s about time women got this chance,” said George Carrol.
Who does Pascrell want to see on the $20? “I’m not going say. I have some choices back here, but I don’t want to corrupt the issue right now,” he said.
The Treasury Secretary’s expected to announce his selection for the $10 note later this year.