Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott sent letters to the U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Friday, nominating Elizabeth Peratrovich to be featured on the redesigned ten dollar bill. This effort follows the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement in May that it would be selecting a woman recognized by the public as a champion for democracy in the United States to be featured on the next ten dollar bill.
“It is with great conviction and admiration that I nominate Elizabeth Peratrovich as the woman featured on the redesigned United States ten dollar bill,” said Governor Walker. “Elizabeth was a driving force for civil rights in Alaska, and played an instrumental role making Alaska the nation’s first organized government to end legal discrimination – nearly twenty years before passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. She is a true hero of American democracy.”
In their letters to Secretary Lew, Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Mallott praised Ms. Peratrovich for her unwavering commitment to equal rights and her brave testimony before the Alaska Territorial Senate in support of a bill prohibiting racial discrimination. Confronted by absolute opposition, she spoke of her own experiences, and those of friends, her children, and others, transforming her staunch adversaries into a captive audience.
Ms. Peratrovich’s decisive and impassioned speech ended with thunderous applause from lawmakers, and is credited as the deciding factor in the passage of the territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945.
“The face of the next U.S. ten dollar bill, and the first woman on any bill, should be an American of uncommon courage with a story that resonates with all of our citizens. I cannot think of a woman who fits that description better than Elizabeth Peratrovich,” said Lieutenant Governor Mallott. “Her story underscores our nation’s singular democratic strength, which is the right of every individual to have a voice in their lives and their children’s future.”
The redesigned ten dollar note is expected to enter circulation after 2020. In the coming months, officials from the U.S. Department of Treasury will seek input from the public on the face of the new ten dollar bill.