Home / Opinion / Plurality favors Anthony for $10 bill

Plurality favors Anthony for $10 bill

A significant plurality—47 percent—of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say social reformer and feminist Susan B. Anthony is the American woman who should be chosen to appear on the redesigned $10 bill.

The next two vote-getters were abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who garnered 12 percent, and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with 11 percent.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks and Sacagawea, a Native American who helped guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition, round out the top five. 

Before the end of the year, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is expected to announce plans for the redesign. This summer Lew said the new $10 note should feature a woman “who was a champion for our inclusive democracy.”

Lew launched an effort to seek public input on who should appear on the new bill. U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios last month held a town hall meeting at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls. By law, only a portrait of a deceased person may appear on banknotes. In online balloting conducted this spring by Women on 20s, the top three vote-getters were Tubman, Roosevelt and Parks.

In the RBJ poll, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton received 3 percent of the vote; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice of the Supreme Court, got 2 percent; and environmentalist Rachel Carson and abolitionist Sojourner Truth each got 1 percent.

Snap Poll readers were given an opportunity to write in their own suggestion. More than 6 percent of the write-ins said the bill should not be changed at all. 

Lew’s announcement followed a three-year campaign by Women on 20s, a grassroots organization that has sought to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with an iconic American woman. The decision to redesign the $10 bill was based on a recommendation of the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, reflecting current counterfeiting threats, the Treasury Department said.

Just shy of 700 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Sept. 14 and 15.

In your view, which American woman should be chosen to appear on the redesigned $10 bill?

Susan B. Anthony  47%  Harriet Tubman  12%  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt  11%  Rosa Parks  6%  Sacagawea 5%  Clara Barton  3%  Sandra Day O’Connor  2%

Rachel Carson  1%  Sojourner Truth  1%  Other  13%


Susan B. Anthony personifies the championing of inclusive democracy—I can’t imagine a better representative. Hopefully other outstanding women soon will be featured on other currency, as well.
—Cindy DeFalco, retired

Harriet Tubman lived her vision to promote an inclusive democracy. Her courageous life and work should be honored on the $10 bill.
—Mary Lynn Vickers

I don’t have a preference regarding which woman’s face should be printed on the paper currency. My concern is that Alexander Hamilton, who has been described as an anti-slavery advocate, should not be replaced. That “honor” should be bestowed on one of the slaveholders currently represented. Since George Washington isn’t a likely candidate for removal, the logical choice should be slaveholder and aggressive Native American fighter Andrew Jackson. The Treasury Department needs to rethink their strategy.
—Dan Karin, retired

I like Rosa Parks from a modern civil rights standpoint.
—Keith Newcomer

There is absolutely no need to waste money and redesign the $10 bill, or any other bill. The whole subject will only add to more division in our country—on a political basis, on a gender basis and on a racial basis. One of the votes should be against the whole bread and circuses entertainment, and just concentrate on what matters—protection of our freedoms, more effective education, stabilizing the economy, protecting our borders and respecting our police, military and first responders. Get real and stop playing games!
—Diane C. Harris, president, Hypotenuse Enterprises Inc.

It is high time to place a woman on our currency. In my view Susan B. Anthony is the most deserving, but I would put her on the $50 bill to replace U.S. Grant, who stood out as a military leader but not as an outstanding president, and in my opinion is the least deserving.
—Nathan J. Robfogel

This should really be a question about the $20 bill, because the $20 is the most commonly used currency these days (what some have called yuppie food stamps). If the $10 is the only option this time around, then let’s take advantage of it. I’d prefer a woman of color, since there are no people of color on any of our currency or coinage. In this order of preference: Rosa Parks (who really spoke clearly to and for my generation), Sacagawea (since she is the only First Nations option), Harriet Tubman (an Upstate New York hero) and Sojourner Truth. If we can’t have a woman of color, then we ought to have a woman who fought for people of color, Susan B. Anthony.
—Ken Maher

I hope that someday a woman will have a lifetime of achievements to equal Alexander Hamilton or Andrew Jackson on one of our treasury notes. I don’t think winning a contest as “The Most Popular Feminist of All Time” is a reason to get your picture on a $10 bill. (Who got to vote on this list? Was there a national referendum so we the people could decide if we even want a change? This feels like one more thing being forced on Americans by the establishment elites.)
—Dennis Ditch

The USA needs a unifying figure. Most of the candidates have some polarizing qualities except for Sacagawea.
—Mark Williams

Other women—black, Native and white—should follow in short order as faces on all paper and coin currency, along with Native American and African American men. Sexism and racism are still alive and thriving.
—Eve Elzenga, Eve Elzenga Design

Let’s see, the country is $18 trillion in debt, 94 million people capable of working aren’t working, economic growth is feeble at best, America is no longer respected throughout the world (and I could go on on on) and we have an administration that wants to rename mountains and change our currency. In terms of priorities, they can’t think of anything more important than redesigning the currency? Maybe that’s why things are heading somewhere in a hand basket.
—Keith B. Robinson, Diamond Packaging

Clara Barton put the “care” in health care. In these days of unsettled health care delivery issues, she reminds us of the highest standards of patient-centered health care.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan

The Treasury Dept has more pressing issues to be focusing on, like reducing deficit spending and the massive federal debt. While it is appropriate that women be honored for their contributions to society like others who contributed significantly, I view this as a feel-good distraction from the serious and weighty issues the dept should be tackling.
—Deb Gleason

Get rid of Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, not Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. I’d recommend anyone on money have been a national figure and dead 75 to 100 years to make sure their legacy is still valued. Many of the names here are good people but not for money; some are absurd. Go with Anthony, Truth or Tubman.
—Dave Giambattista, Fairport

Mary Edwards Walker: Her actions represent many of the women mentioned above as candidates. Born in Oswego, she was the first and only woman to receive the Medal of Honor. She was a feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, surgeon in the Civil War, arrested as a spy while treating the wounded and a prisoner of war. She is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame (inducted in 2000).
—Tom Walpole

Alexander Hamilton’s role in so many aspects of the founding of our country is too important to take him off the bill. While I totally support celebrating a woman, this is not the right way to do it. Wait for the $20 bill and exchange Rosa Parks for Andrew Jackson.
—Alan Ziegler, Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation

Why not include them all? We can mint a series of 50 quarters with one for (each) state, and the First Class postage stamp with a variety of images of famous people, flowers, the American flag, etc. So why not print a series of $20 bills made up of the images of all of the top vote-getters in the survey?
—Bob Volpe, Rochester

I feel that Eleanor Roosevelt should be on the $10 bill because she used her knowledge and influence to help all people worldwide.
—Jennifer Apetz

They shouldn’t be changing it.
—Devin Michaels, Chili

Who cares as long as it is still worth $10.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield

I suggest that the face of the $10 bill should have the face of the mother of the Women’s Movement, Susan B. Anthony, looking at the face of the father of the Civil Rights Movement, Frederick Douglass, just like they look at each other in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D.

My vote is for Martha Washington, the very first First Lady and wife of our greatest president, George Washington.
—George Thomas, Ogden

Alexander Hamilton’s contribution was greater than any of the women listed.
—M.L. Huff

Personally, I am not opposed to the suggestion, but then, neither am I in such a damn hurry to do it. What is the big deal?
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield

9/18/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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