Move over Jackson, it's time for a woman on the $20 bill

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Barbara Ortiz Howard already has a day job maintaining apartment buildings near New York City. Now she has a second job and it's all about money. No, not earning it -- she wants to fix what she says is wrong with it.

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Barbara Ortiz Howard
CBS News

"There are no women on the money and I thought gee this is a crazy omission," said Howard.

Howard is on a mission to send President Andrew Jackson packing and put a woman on the $20 bill. After long hours of research, she and some friends came up with a list of 15 extraordinary women. Though Howard says they're all her favorites, she clearly has a soft spot for Harriett Tubman, who rescued slaves on the Underground Railroad.

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A $20 bill imagined with Harriet Tubman
CBS News

$20 Bill Makeover

Which woman should be on the $20 bill?

"She risked her life, over, and over, and over again," Howard said through tears.

"I'd love to see Eleanor Roosevelt on there," said presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Goodwin says Jackson, the seventh president, probably wouldn't even mind getting the axe.

"He might have said to himself, I've had my run, time for somebody else," said Goodwin.

The American public will get to decide by voting on the website WomenOn20s.com. When they narrow it down to one Howard says they'll ask President Obama to create a new $20. The goal is to have it in circulation by the year 2020 -- the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote.

Just last year the president said he got a letter from a young girl asking him to put a woman on U.S. currency. He said he thought "it was a pretty good idea."

But Howard is leaving nothing to chance. Instead of high-powered lobbyists she's employed a much more powerful team: adorable kids. She's using their persuasive powers to get out the vote.


Cast your vote in the unofficial CBS News poll at left. And then go to WomenOn20s.com to vote there.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.