Durbin Welcomes Illinois AFL-CIO President as Special Guest to Joint Session

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) will welcome the President of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Michael T. Carrigan, as his guest to an address by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress this evening.  Durbin met with his guest prior to the joint session to discuss the importance of growing the economy, creating jobs and putting people back to work in Illinois and across the country. 


“It’s a false choice to say that government cannot create jobs and reduce the debt,” said Durbin.  “The truth is, with 14 million Americans out of work, it is virtually impossible to balance the budget.  As I travelled my home state of Illinois last month, I found that many people have been desperately trying to find jobs for a long time.  It is becoming increasing difficult and the longer it goes on the more difficult it becomes.  Creating jobs now will increase revenues by bringing more people into the tax base and it will reduce our debt by taking more people off of safety net programs, like unemployment insurance and food stamps.”


Carrigan was elected president of the Illinois AFL-CIO on February 28, 2007, to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term and in 2008, he was elected to a four-year term.  Prior to that, he served as secretary-treasurer of the Illinois AFL-CIO.  He was a journeyman wireman in Decatur from 1978 to 1990 before becoming assistant business manager of IBEW Local 146 and from 1992 to 2000 served as business manager/financial secretary.  Carrigan served nearly four terms on the Decatur City Council before being appointed mayor of Decatur in July 2008 to serve out the remaining term of the retiring mayor.  Carrigan graduated from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois. He is married to Karen and has one son, Tim.