Andrew Jackson, whose face currently graces the $20 bill, was the seventh President of the United States. Also, he did some seriously shitty stuff. Jackson's authorization and enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced several Native American tribes to give up their land to make room for white European settlers.
Last year, Slate pitched the idea of kicking Andrew Jackson off the $20 bill, arguing that a president who "engineered a genocide" does not deserve a place of honor on U.S. currency. They make a pretty good point. But if not Andrew Jackson, whose face should go on the twenty? There are plenty of great alternatives.
A group called Women on $20s says it's about time to put a woman's face on our paper currency. They're urging the U.S. government to boot Jackson off the $20 bill and have put forth a list of fifteen inspiring American women heroes as potential replacements, including Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosvelt, Harriet Tubman...
And the lone Asian American candidate on Women on $20s' list: Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress.
Patsy Mink (1927 - 2002)
"Women have a tremendous responsibility to help shape the future of America, to help decide policies that will affect the course of our history."
Patsy Mink was no stranger to firsts. She was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress. Later she was the first Asian-American to run for U.S. President. A zoology and chemistry major, Mink was rejected by all medical schools to which she applied and instead studied law, becoming the first Japanese-American woman to practice law in her home state of Hawaii. Perhaps most amazingly, she became her high school's first female student body president only one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in her home state.
Mink worked her entire life to eradicate the gender and racial discrimination that she had experienced. She began her career specializing in family and criminal law after no law firms in Honolulu would hire her. She became active in local politics in Hawaii and became the first Asian-American woman elected to the Hawaii House in 1956. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, she ran for the U.S. Congress but was defeated. Then, in 1964 she won a successful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives and served 12 terms, interrupted by her brief bid for the U.S. presidency in 1972.
Always a champion of women's and civil rights, health care, welfare, and education, Mink built some of the most influential coalitions in Congress. In 1972 she co-wrote, sponsored and secured the passage of Title IX, which prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions. The legislation is perhaps best known for ensuring equal opportunities for women in college athletics. Mink also introduced the first comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act. She was a strong environmental advocate, and after her career in Congress, in 1976 Mink was appointed by President Carter as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
After her death in 2002, Title IX was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.
I think Patsy Mink would be an awesome choice for the future face of money. Cast your vote here.
They're currently running the primary round of voting. The goal is to generate an overwhelming people's mandate for a new $20 bill, to be issued in time for the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. For further information, visit Womenon20s.org.
More here: This group wants to banish Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill