U.S. Treasury

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday evening it would be selecting a woman to be on new $10 bills, replacing Alexander Hamilton, America's first Secretary Treasury.

“America’s currency is a way for our nation to make a statement about who we are and what we stand for," Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement emailed to reporters. "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.”

Here's how it'll be decided: Lew, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, Treasurer Rosie Rios, and other Obama Administration officials will conduct "roundtables, town halls, and other meetings" to collect input.

Meanwhile, the department has set up a website, thenew10.treasury.gov, where the public can make suggestions. Administration officials will also be tracking a social media hashtag “TheNew10.”

No date has been set for when a final decision will be made, but the new bills will be released in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment allowing woman's suffrage — though Lew notes the bills were already scheduled for a redesign to add new security features.

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No one would argue that it is time to put a non-white male on major U.S. currency, but some are questioning the decision to replace Hamilton, who not only was an immigrant with a mixed-race background but who also made the modern U.S. economy possible.

Earlier this year, a campaign was started to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill and replace Andrew Jackson, who among other things carried out some of the most violent campaigns against Native Americans. (Fusion contributor Jay Smooth explained why we should have thought twice about that).

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In case you were wondering, here's what Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose production "Hamilton" puts a modern spin on the classic American immigrant story, had to say about the announcement.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.