A WOMAN ON THE $20 BILL?

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East County News Service

March 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--A woman’s place is on the money. That’s the slogan of a new group called Womenon20s.org, which has launched a national campaign to put a woman’s face on the $20 bill.

They’ve launched an online petition drive seeking to convince President Barack Obama to replace the image of Andrew Jackson with a woman in honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.  The group has also launched an online poll to let the American public choose which woman most deserves the honor of being the first female face on paper currency.

Other bills feature images of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. Andrew Jackson, a former President, is viewed as most suited to be removed from the honor of having his image on our money, since he was responsible for ordering the removal of Cherokee Indians off their land, an action that resulted in the deaths of 4,000 Cherokee people on what has become known as the Trail of Tears.

U.S. law requires that only someone who has died can appear on U.S. currency.  Womenon20s.org has proposed 15 candidates.  These include:

Susan B. Anthony , a leader in both the abolition and women’s suffrage movements, braved arrest for daring to cast a vote and campaigning for the successful passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women across America the right to vote. Anthony has previously been honored with her image on a dollar coin.

Clara Barton, known as the “angel of the battlefield,” was a nurse who brought medical care to soldiers on the front lines during the Civil War.  She later led national efforts to find soldiers missing in action and went on to found the American Red Cross.

Rachel Carson, author of the book Silent Spring, exposed the dangers of pesticides, launching the

environmental movement and leading to creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and a ban on DDT.

Shirley Chisolm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress and first majority-party black candidate for President.  Chisolm was a strong advocate for minorities, women and children on Capitol Hill.

Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, who also founded the National Organization for Women and served as its first president.

Barbara Jordan, the first African-American from the South elected to Congress, was also the first African-American to deliver a key note speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Patsy Mink was the first Asian-American in Congress and helped lead efforts to pass Title IX, legislation that ended sex discrimination in education and opened up collegiate sports opportunities for women.

Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, launching civil rights protests and helping to bring about passage of the Civil Rights Act. She has been hailed as a symbol in the struggle for racial equality.

Alice Paul, whose 10-year campaign to win women the right to vote included a hunger strike.  A lawyer and social worker, she also headed the National Women’s Party for 50 years.

Francis Perkins served as U.S. Labor Secretary under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the first female cabinet member in American history. She introduced the Social Security Act, the Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration, the minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek and laws outlawing child labor.

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used her newspaper column, radios and speeches to champion women’s rights and civil rights—sometimes in opposition to her husband’s policies. Later a delegate to the United Nations, she drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and was nicknamed “First Lady of the World.”

Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in America. She was arrested and tried for her efforts to help women avoid unwanted pregnancies, later helping to legalize contraception and found Planned Parenthood.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a founder of the women’s rights movement, convening the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.  She inspired the suffrage movement with her words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal.”

Sojourner Truth, an escaped slave who traveled widely advocating for abolition and women’s rights in the 19th century.

Harriet Tubman, a slave who who fled to freedom in the North, later made 19 trips back to the south as a leader on the Underground Railroad, leading over 300 slaves to freedom. She also served as a nurse, a scout and a spy for the Union Army, as well as a leader in the women’s suffrage movement after the war.

You can cast your vote on which of these remarkable women you would like to see on the $20 bill at www.womenon20s.org