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What’s the holdup?

Girl who asked Obama to put women on U.S. currency disappointed by delay

By WITW Staff on April 18, 2016

Sofia, who was nine years old when she wrote to President Obama asking him why U.S. currency did not feature any women — prompting an answer from his administration that it would happen as soon as possible — is now voicing her opposition to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew’s decision to possibly delay putting a woman on the front of a U.S. banknote for years. Sofia, who turns 11 this week, said the two years she has been waiting feels like a long time: “I feel like they kind of promised us it would be on the front in 2020,” she told Bloomberg. “I want a woman to be on the front of the $20. I think that would be great. Except I think that would take way too much time.”

After Sofia’s letter to the president went viral, and a campaign by several women’s groups to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with a woman gained traction, the Treasury announced it would add a woman to a new $10 bill by 2020. A counter-campaign fueled by the popularity of Broadway-hit Hamilton took off, asking to keep only the Founding Father on the note. Since then, Lew has been hinting at keeping Hamilton for that bill and instead including pictures of women on the backs of 5 and 10 dollar bills and putting out a $20 bill featuring a woman in the long run.

The plan has drawn criticism from the women’s groups who campaigned for the change, however, sparking an online campaign with a petition to the White House and the hashtag #NotGoingBack, asking the government to not back away from the plan to put a woman on the $10 bill. Kim B., Sofia’s mother, said she and her daughter signed the petition. “I do believe that it’s the desire of the American people to see a woman on the portrait side of a bill,” Sofia’s mother said. “That is an awesome thing. But it’s not an awesome thing when Sofia is 25 years old” before it happens. “We’re missing an entire generation where we send a positive message of ‘we value girls in this country.’”

Read the full story at Bloomberg.


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