If a nonprofit gorup has its way, Harriet Tubman could become the new face of the $20 bill.
CBS News screenshot

It's been a busy few weeks for the legacy of Harriet Tubman.

Earlier this month it was announced that Viola Davis would be starring in an HBO biopic about the abolitionist who led slaves to freedom. Now, if the voting from an online poll holds any sway with lawmakers, Tubman could be in contention to become the new face of the $20 bill.

Advertisement

According to CBS News, Women on 20s, a nonprofit grassroots group, ran a 10-week online poll asking who should replace former President Andrew Jackson on the bill. The poll closed Tuesday, and Tubman won 33.6 percent of ballots cast. According to CBS, Tubman beat out former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who was followed by "civil rights icon Rosa Parks and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller."

"Our paper bills are like pocket monuments to great figures in our history," Women on 20s Executive Director Susan Ades Stone told CBS. "Our work won't be done until we're holding a Harriet $20 bill in our hands in time for the centennial of women's suffrage in 2020."

In addition to the poll, the group has sent a petition to President Barack Obama asking that Tubman's image be embossed on the new currency. They are also calling for a "virtual march" in which supporters will use the hashtag #DearMrPresident to express their interest in having Tubman grace the $20 bill.

Advertisement

The president has publicly noted that the proposal for a woman on the $20 is a "pretty good idea," CBS reports.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, acknowledged the Women on 20s group when she introduced the Women on the Twenty Act in Congress. According to CBS, to move forward with the idea, the Treasury Department would have to convene a panel of private citizens "to recommend a woman to be printed on the $20 Federal Reserve notes, according to the text of the bill" viewed by CBS.

"Our paper currency is an important part of our everyday lives and reflects our values, traditions and history as Americans," Shaheen said in a statement. "It's long overdue for that reflection to include the contributions of women."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is also pushing for HBO to bring the film to Tubman's former home in central New York. According to the Post-Standard of Syracuse, Schumer sent letters to both HBO and Time Warner Cable, HBO's parent company, asking that the biopic be shot in Fleming, which is just outside the city limits of Auburn, where she's buried. No word was given on whether HBO has decided on the shooting location of the film. 

Read more at CBS News and the Post-Standard of Syracuse.