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We Might Be Seeing Women on the U.S. Quarter Pretty Soon

Hamilton: An American Musical said it best: “It must be nice to have Washington on our [back]side.” 

Last week, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (Democrat-California) reminded me of this line when she and Republican Bruce Poliquin of Maine introduced a bill that would put prominent women on the reverse of the U.S. quarter. How’s that for enacting change during Women’s History Month?

Bustle reports that Lee’s project is meant to honor the 19th Amendment. In case you weren’t paying attention in history class, that’s the all-important one that gave women the right to vote in 1920. If her new bill is passed, the governors or top officials of all 50 states, five territories, and Washington D.C. will choose a prominent woman from their specific state or territory to feature on the back side of the coin.

Admittedly, hearing about this selection process does make me a little skeptical, as most state leaders are white men. However, the bill states that if this legislation is passed, state governors are supposed to work with women’s organizations in their corresponding area to choose who should be honored on the flip side of the coin. Not only that, but the women chosen must be deceased, suggesting that women whose work may have been overlooked in their lifetimes will be recognized.

As amazing as this sounds, we can’t get too excited yet. The bill has been introduced but has yet to be discussed in committee meetings. But if it’s passed (we’re crossing our fingers), the first mockups of the coins could be released as soon as 2020, according to CNNMoney. 2020 will be the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Coincidence? I think not.  

Lest you think this was a quick process, Rep. Lee worked with Obama-era Treasurer Rosie Rios to draft this bill for more than a year. If Rios’ name doesn’t ring a bell, it should. She has been on the frontlines of discussions regarding new currency designs in recent years, pushing for a woman to be included on the $10 bill

Since this is a bipartisan bill (meaning that a Democrat and a Republican introduced it together), maybe, just maybe, the Republican-controlled Congress and President Donald Trump will have the heart to sign it. Really, how much harm could it do?

It’s pretty cool to think that one day, our daughters might see women on their currency. Happy Women’s History Month, collegiettes!

Temple University, 2019. Magazine journalist and editor, fitness instructor, health and wellness enthusiast. Proponent of lists, Jesus, and the Oxford comma. Will do anything for an iced oatmilk latte. Follow my journey: Twitter + Instagram: @sarah_madaus
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