Vira Douangmany Cage
Vira is serving a second 3-year term on the Massachusetts Asian American Commission with a 2019 appointment by the state treasurer. In 2015, Vira was elected to a 3-year term on the Amherst School Committee and was a Town Meeting member from 2014-2018. In 2016, she became the first Lao American to run for state representative in Massachusetts.
Vira organized a successful grassroots campaign from 2010-2013 which allowed an innocent person to be freed who was serving a life without the possibility of parole sentence. Her efforts garnered recognition from the Center for Women and Community at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Spring of Hope Church in Springfield and the Prison Birth Project in Holyoke.
After fleeing war-torn Laos at the age of five, Vira, her parents & four siblings spent about a year in a Thai refugee camp before the US received them in 1980. Vira graduated from Boston Latin Academy and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Vira works locally as a program coordinator at BakuCare, an adult day health center in Hadley and volunteers on the board of directors at Amherst Media as its vice-president. She, her husband and two children reside in Amherst.