Originally Posted on May 13, 2015
#WomenOn20s Movement Gaining National Momentum
Leaders Launch #DearMrPresident Social Media Campaign to Bolster Message
New York, NY—Today, City Council Member Margaret Chin and members of the Council’s Women’s Caucus announced they will introduce a resolution calling on the federal government to put a woman on the $20 bill. The resolution will be introduced at tomorrow’s Council stated meeting.
Women’s Caucus members joining Council Member Chin to introduce the resolution include Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Inez Barron, Laurie A. Cumbo, Elizabeth Crowley, Inez Dickens, Julissa Ferreras, Vanessa Gibson, Karen Koslowitz, Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Debi Rose and Helen Rosenthal.
The Council members were joined at their announcement today by Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone, co-leaders of the Women on 20s movement and the official W20 campaign, whose work inspired the forthcoming Council resolution, as well as recently introduced federal legislation. They were also joined by Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women–New York (NOW New York).
Yesterday, May 12, Ms. Howard and Ms. Ades Stone announced the results of a nationwide online vote held by W20 to consider potential new faces of the $20 bill. More than 600,000 people voted over the course of approximately 10 weeks, ultimately choosing legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman as the ballot winner. Also considered on the final ballot were former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights icon Rosa Parks and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.
With a ballot winner chosen, W20 has now launched an additional social media campaign using the hashtag #DearMrPresident, to amplify their message and get the attention of President Obama.
As conceived by W20, the Council resolution announced today will call for a woman on the $20 bill by 2020, because that year will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
Council Member Margaret Chin said: “There’s a chorus of voices growing all across our nation, and it’s sending a powerful message: A woman’s place is on the $20 bill! I’m proud to stand with the Council’s Women’s Caucus as we add our voices to this movement and recognize the incredible contributions of women in America. I’d also like to thank Barbara Ortiz Howard and Susan Ades Stone for the outstanding work they’ve done in leading this historic effort, and I look forward to seeing their dream become reality.”
Barbara Ortiz Howard, founder of Women on 20s, said: “We are extremely proud that the New York City Council, and its female leadership in particular, stand strong with Women On 20s in calling for the President to put a woman on our $20 bill. New York was the birthplace of suffrage rights and is now, we hope, the birthplace of a new currency!”
Susan Ades Stone, executive director of Women on 20s, said: “A resolution like this, coming from the financial capital of the world, carries special weight, and for that, Women On 20s is especially grateful to the New York City Council.”
Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW New York, said: “A woman’s face on the twenty dollar bill will be a powerful symbol that rightfully recognizes the tremendous contributions and sacrifices women have made to build our country. Instead of erasing women from our history, we should be celebrating them.”
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, co-chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus, said: “The #WomenOn20s movement will begin to give credit for the incredible role we had in shaping our world today. As Co-Chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus, I fight every day for the recognition and rights that women deserve, and this resolution furthers that mission.”
Council Member Inez Barron said: “I am in complete support of Council Member Chin’s resolution that calls for the United States Treasury to put a woman on the twenty dollar bill. Women have made great accomplishments in our society and they should be reflected on our currency. I am particularly elated that Harriet Tubman has won the Women on 20s online vote and has become the face of their campaign.”
Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo said: “Throughout our nation’s history, gender equity has been a fundamental issue impacting access to quality education, healthcare, and equal pay. Despite our many accomplishments since the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the role of women in shaping modern society has been consistently undermined. As consumers and entrepreneurs, women are the driving force behind the economic vitality of cities across the nation. I applaud the Women on 20s Movement to change the face of U.S. currency, because we deserve equal representation. As a woman of color and Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues, I am elated that Harriet Tubman was chosen as the potential new face of the $20 bill. She is one of many trailblazers whose contributions have sustained our communities and must be celebrated.”
Council Member Inez E. Dickens said: “Women are an essential thread in the fabric of our society and it is time that our American currency reflects the important strides women have made and continue to make in our great nation. With the #WomenOn20s Movement, we are giving value to women’s achievements and honoring our pioneers. The selection of Harriet Tubman, whom led many slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and is considered by many the greatest women of her time, sends a strong statement that women have character, courage and commitment.”
Council Member Julissa Ferreras said: “For centuries, women have made great contributions in science, government, art, etc. to our society. Still, the work of these women has gone unnoticed. It is time the United States joined the league of countries who have put women on their currency and have given them their place in history.” Council Member Rosie Mendez said: “Women are instrumental in the history of our Country. We are long overdue to have the face of a woman on any US currency. I stand with my sisters in the New York City Council in introducing this resolution to support this needed action.”
Council Member Annabel Palma said: “I am thrilled to support Council Member Chin, and the Women’s Caucus, in calling on the federal government to place a woman on the face of the $20 bill. Women have, and continue to be, instrumental in shaping the cultural and economic landscape of the United States. With so many influential women pioneers, it is only right that a woman should be reflected on our national currency, especially as we will soon commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.”
Council Member Debi Rose said: “In almost every level of government, women remain underrepresented, and this is true on our currency, as well. I have encouraged countless young women to get more involved in their communities and in government, and I know that for these young women, role models are important. Let’s show our young women that we, as a nation, honor the contributions of women and take the long-overdue step of putting a woman on our $20 bill by 2020. In addition, almost 100 years ago we won the right to the ballot box, but we still don’t receive equal pay for equal work. Putting a woman on our currency would be a reminder of that ongoing struggle.” Council Member Helen Rosenthal said: “Women helped to build the nation we live in today, and we are long overdue for representation on paper currency. Harriet Tubman is renowned for her courage and selflessness, and she is a true American heroine. I’m proud to support this legislation under the leadership of Council Member Margret Chin.”
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said: “Putting a woman’s face on currency is an idea whose time came long ago. And of course one of the organizers of this movement is a New Yorker! So it’s more than fitting that the women on the New York City Council are coming together to support this cause.”