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Assemblymember Demond Meeks Speaks on Unclaimed Funds, New Leadership, & Ernest Flagler-Mitchell

New Yorkers in need of extra cash may be in luck. Assemblymember Demond Meeks and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli invited local constituents to the Boys & Girls Club to check for unclaimed funds.

Tocsin spoke with Meeks on Unclaimed Funds, his endorsement, and Ernest Flagler-Mitchell.

Tocsin: Could you tell us a little about this event and how you came up with this idea?

Meeks: So this is Unclaimed Funds, so basically it is about 17 billion dollars across the state that's owed to everyday people. We know that 70% of those funds are a hundred dollars or less. But then one of the largest is a million-dollar estate. Rather it’s a bank account a person forgot about or bailed someone out of jail and the list goes on and on. But long story short this is money that belongs to the community and we will do our diligence to get the money to the people.

Tocsin: You have a lot of pressure because the community believes in your ability to make changes. Do you feel pressure in this position?

Meeks: No, honesty and I always say this, it is the advocates. Listening to the community and the advocates makes your life that much easier. It's not like reinventing the wheel. It is talking to people and them saying these are the issues we are concerned about and how do we move forward.

Tocsin: Recently, you endorsed William Burgess. Why?

Meeks: Basically we had candidates in the community, people who we recognized their work. He's been a social worker for 25 years and a football coach. There have been times that I’ve talked to him and he said one of my students called me so just that type of drive and commitment to the community, how can you not support it.

Tocsin: Did your support for William have anything to do with you previously running against Ernest Flagler-Mitchell?

Meeks: No, it was really about his commitment to the community. It was about me knowing him and the type of drive that he has to just want to be better and do better for the community, that was a factor.

Tocsin: So what do you think about the allegations against Ernest Flagler-Mitchell?

Meeks: There’s a system in place right and I think people have grown frustrated with the current system that's in place. If you recognize there was some wrongdoing, however, there is no consequence for it. I think as far as what we recognize as a community, the community was served and it was held on election night we came out and said we were ready for new leadership and that’s what was displayed by the vote. There were a number of people calling for his resignation. It’s a different thing when the community lets their voices be heard at the ballot box and I think that’s what’s important.

To check to see if you have unclaimed funds click the link below.

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