Treasury Secretary to 'Women on 20s' campaign: thanks anyway!

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Last night Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced a woman would join Alexander Hamilton on new $10 bills.

While most welcomed the idea of finally adding some gender balance to American currency, many criticized the decision to target Hamilton, an immigrant of mixed-race background who also happened to lay the foundations for the modern American economy, instead of Andrew Jackson, who led one of the most ruthless campaigns against Native Americans in American history.

Earlier this year, a campaign called Women on 20s was created in an effort to replace Jackson with Harriet Tubman (although Fusion's Jay Smooth explained why that replacement would in itself be problematic).


In a speech Thursday at the National Archives, Lew addressed the Women on 20s group and basically said: thanks anyway.

I would like to say something to everyone involved in the Women on 20s campaign—we thank you for your passion and your citizenship. Your campaign is exactly what democracy is about—making your voice heard.

And he left it at that.

He went on to reiterate the Treasury's stated reason for moving on the $10, that the bill was already set for redesign. However, he hinted at what may be another reason, that it would take much greater effort to redesign the $20, which outnumber the quantity of $10 in circulation by 6:1


"Redesigning currency is not simple—crafting a new bill is a technological challenge that requires the development of new materials, features, and manufacturing processes," he said.

For its part, the Women on 20s campaign has applauded the announcement, writing on its Facebook page that, "…It's not the 20, but it can be a perfect $10 if it's IN OUR HANDS by 2020 to celebrate the centennial of women's right to vote.


"Harriet Tubman, we still believe in you and all the incredible women who drew 600,000 votes for HISTORIC CHANGE in our poll," they added. "One vote at a time, we sent a strong message for greater gender equality. And the message is being heard. Congratulations to everyone who participated. But there's more work to be done. Onward!"

Meanwhile many on the Internet continues to criticize Treasury's choice:


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