Albany, NY - August 26, 2015 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that, following his push, the National Women’s Hall of Fame will host a town hall with Treasurer of the United States Rosa “Rosie” Rios in Seneca Falls, NY, which will serve as a site for one of the Department’s public input town halls on the new $10 bill design. Schumer explained that, in June, Secretary Jack Lew announced the $10 bill would be redesigned to feature a woman in spirit of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right the vote. The Treasury Department plans to unveil the redesigned $10 bill by 2020 and said that it planned to hold several town-hall style meetings in locations across the country in order to determine which American woman will appear on the new $10 bill. On the heels of this news, Schumer urged the Treasury Department to hold a forum in Seneca Falls. During his July visit to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in NY, Schumer said Seneca Falls – as the birthplace of the women’s equality movement – should be selected to help decide which great American woman would be featured on the redesigned $10 bill.
Now, the town hall is set to take place this Monday, August 31, 2015, from 1-2pm in Seneca Falls with Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios. It will take place at the historic Wesleyan Chapel, located at 126 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY, where the original 1848 Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention was held.
“Seneca Falls’ selection as a town hall site to discuss which great American woman will be featured on the redesigned bill is great news. It will be a lasting tribute to the courage of the women and men who started a movement in the Finger Lakes region that led to women getting the ballot,” said Schumer. “It is only fitting that the input of a town so ingrained in the history of women’s equality play an integral part in the process that will place a woman on our currency.”
During his July visit, Schumer said choosing Seneca Falls would have symbolic power because it has historical significance as the birthplace of the women’s rights movement. In July 1848, America's first “Women's Rights Convention” was held and produced the Declaration of Sentiments, which inspired and guided the drive for women's equality to this very day. Therefore, Schumer said that as the birthplace of the women’s equality movement, it was only fitting that the input of a town so ingrained in the history of women’s rights play an integral part in the process to place a woman on our paper currency.
Schumer explained that many great New Yorkers, including Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, and more dedicated their lives to creating true democracy in a time when women had no right to vote and slavery was commonplace throughout much of the nation. Schumer said the political and social movements launched by these women, and many like them, across New York State and the country transformed American society. At the heart of this struggle was the Town of Seneca Falls, where, in 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott joined with 300 other women at the First Women’s Rights Convention. It was at this convention that these women presented and passed the Declaration of Sentiments, which demanded woman have the right to vote.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s initial letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appears below:
Dear Secretary Lew,
On June 17th the Department of the Treasury announced that a portrait of a woman would be featured on the newly redesigned $10 bill to be put into circulation in 2020. As part of that announcement you highlighted that Treasury would be seeking input from interested parties as to who would be the most appropriate selection. You specifically mentioned that Treasury would be soliciting input and feedback through round-table discussions and town hall meetings. It is in response to that announcement that I am writing to urge the Department of the Treasury to choose the Town of Seneca Falls, New York as a site for one of Treasury’s upcoming public town halls in the coming months.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, and look to honor a woman to be featured on our paper currency, it is important to include the input of a town that has been ingrained in the history of the movement for women’s rights. I believe that the historical significance and its continued connection to the honoring of the fight for women’s rights makes Seneca Falls a clear choice as one of the hosts for a town-hall discussion of which woman best exemplifies “a champion for our inclusive democracy.”
As you may know, the Town of Seneca Falls is the birthplace of the women’s rights movement and home to the National Women’s Hall of Fame. In fact, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, which preserves the sites associated with the 1848 First Women’s Rights Convention, is located in Seneca Falls. During this convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and over 300 other women and men presented and passed the Declaration of Sentiments that demanded woman have the right to vote.
Seneca Falls was where those women and many others gathered to advance the cause of human and civil rights, in the name of creating a better democracy. Those intrepid advocates knew the true meaning of democracy and dedicated their lives to making our nation more closely reflect that ideal. Seneca Falls is where they made their voices heard and should similarly be a place where today’s voices are heard as to how best to honor their achievements.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator