The Hippo


Oct 16, 2019








Will Rosa Parks or Eleanor Roosevelt greet you at the ATM? Images courtesy Women on 20s.

N.H. citizens weigh in

Curious what the people of New Hampshire thought of this effort, the Hippo asked around downtown Manchester.
Folks like John Fosher of Manchester like the idea.
“I think it would be awesome,” Fosher said. “I think [women] take better charge than us men.”
Jordan Wood of Meredith agrees.
“It would be a good thing to see, I think,” Wood said.
He’d like to see Rosa Parks on the 20.
Andrew Giroux thinks it’s fine as long as it’s the $20 bill.
“[Andrew Jackson was] not one of the greatest presidents, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing to get rid of him. I think it would be different if you were getting rid of Washington.” Giroux said.
But Shelly Roy of Raymond doesn’t want to see a change.
“I’d rather leave it the status quo,” Roy said. “I’m kind of old-school. I don’t like to change things as they go.”
As for who should go on the bill, Rosa Parks seems to be a popular choice.
Lina, who elected not to give her last name, is glad to see Jackson go. She said Parks was her first choice until she heard the lesser-known Wilma Mankiller was an option.
“Just for the name Mankiller, I am gonna have to go with Mankiller,” Lina said. “I mean how can you beat Mankiller?”
But Quinn Robinson of Manchester is wary of putting anyone with such an ominous name on the 20.
“Don’t put Mankiller on there,” Robinson said. “If they’re gonna have any female, it should be Rosa Parks.”
The final round of voting ends on Mother’s Day, May 10. See

In women we trust
Campaign seeks to replace Jackson with Parks, Roosevelt, Tubman or Chief Mankiller on the $20 bill


From Washington and Lincoln, Grant and Hamilton, the tradition in America is to depict a dead president on our money. There have been some major exceptions, like Benjamin Franklin — but, in the last century or so at least, no women, at least not on paper currency.

The $20 bill
America is arguably unique in the English-speaking world since several commonwealth countries like Canada and Australia already depict a woman, namely Queen Elizabeth II, on their banknotes.
So why doesn’t the U.S.? That’s the question Sen. Jeanne Shaheen posed to the U.S. Senate floor when she presented a bill in April that would get the ball rolling for putting a woman’s face on the $20 bill.
Shaheen’s press secretary, Vivek Kembaiyan, said the bill would have the Treasury Department convene a citizens panel to decide which woman to place on the 20.
“Given how important it is to recognize the contributions of women to our country, … we think the $20 bill is a good way to do that, at least to start,” Kembaiyan said.
He said the current portrait of President Andrew Jackson was placed on the 20 after a similar panel was convened in the 1920s to replace Grover Cleveland. And he said, traditionally, bill design goes up for review every seven to 12 years for changes.
“The $20 bill is overdue for one of those changes based on this typical timeline,” Kembaiyan said. “The other thing is the $20 bill is very ubiquitous. It’s used a lot more by ordinary citizens than, say, the $50 bill or the $100 bill.”
As for which woman should be selected for the honor, current rules already stipulate the honoree can’t be living. So even if Hillary Clinton becomes the first female president, she would not immediately qualify.
Women in the running
A campaign called Women on 20s, or W20, has been pushing for the change since it incorporated a year ago. Its executive director, Susan Stone, said online voting on a female candidate has been going on since March 1. In the first round of voting, which lasted five weeks, the field was narrowed to four candidates.
“We see these votes as building a mandate for making this change,” said Stone. “We use this system of asking the public to weigh in as a way of engaging them and getting them to take some kind of small action that would put some force behind this request.”
Stone said they’ve received about 300,000 votes so far in the second round. And one candidate, Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller, was added late after W20 received countless comments on social media suggesting how appropriate it would be for Mankiller to displace Andrew Jackson. Jackson was the president who signed the Indian Removal Act which lead to the Trail of Tears.
The other three finalists are first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights champion Rosa Parks and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. But no matter who wins this online election, the panel created by Shaheen’s bill would start from scratch to make its selection. And Stone knows that.
“We’re only making a suggestion here of who the portrait should be,” Stone said.
As seen in the April 30, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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