Women in Government

Blair Milo 2017 HONOREE

Mayor, LaPorte, Indiana

After five-and-a-half years of active duty in the Navy, including stints in Bahrain and at the Pentagon, Blair Milo was set on her plan to become a private defense consultant in Washington, D.C. But on an Easter visit to her hometown of LaPorte in 2010, she saw several articles in the local paper about how the city budget might run out within six months. “Nobody even seemed to have a plan,” she says. “I thought, ‘This is crazy!’”

Back in D.C., Milo spent time digging into LaPorte’s financial situation, which led to a series of letters she published in the paper about how the city could get back on sound fiscal footing. Inevitably, that led to calls for Milo to run for office. She laughed them off. “I kept thinking, ‘Boy, somebody really needs to do something here,’” she says. “Then I realized it was me.” 

 Milo ran for mayor in 2011 and won. In office, she resolved the town’s budget problem by hammering out a deal with the county, which hadn’t properly been collecting property taxes. She’s been focused on fostering economic growth in LaPorte, and on better infrastructure maintenance, including landing new money from the state legislature for roads.

Read about the Women in Government program and the rest of the honorees.