Vatsady Sivongxay

Vatsady Sivongxay
2017 Candidate for Cambridge City Council

Home address:
59 Kirkland St. #2
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact information:
phone: 617-299-0231

Send contributions to:
Sivongxay Committee
59 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Vatsady Sivongxay is a new candidate this year.

Vatsady Sivongxay (VAT-sa-dee SI-VUNG-sigh) is a community advocate, attorney mother, and former refugee immigrant. She is committed to increasing equitable access to opportunities for all and bringing our diverse voices to the decision-making table.

Vatsady’s Background:
When I was two years old, my family fled Laos to escape the unrest in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. We sought shelter at a refugee camp in Thailand before transferring to a safer camp in the Philippines. Even though conditions were safer, they were not much better. I attended school on a dirt floor and lined up for food rations. Being forcibly displaced from our home and native country was a traumatic experience for our family, but we were welcomed by our new neighbors in America. To my family and me, community transcends ethnicity, faith, and geographical boundaries.

From a young age, I saw how important community is, because our new community in the United States helped my family start over and allowed my family to continue to be involved in our community in Laos. Life as refugee immigrants wasn’t easy and I’ve seen the struggles firsthand. Before leaving Laos, my father was a school principal and my mother was a nurse, but they were now janitors and factory workers, taking side jobs to make ends meet. Yet with very little, I watched my parents fund the reconstruction of the school in Laos where my father previously taught and provide zero-interest micro-loans to Lao families facing financial hardship.

Coming from a family and community that are committed to improving the lives of others in spite of our difficult circumstances has shaped my worldview. I decided early on to give back, so I earned a law degree from Suffolk University Law School. Soon after passing the bar, I served as a community legal service pro-bono attorney, and then opened a law practice to help entrepreneurs realize their small business dreams and guide immigrants through the complex immigration system.

I went on to serve as Director of Public Policy for Boston City Council District 7 (which includes Roxbury and parts of Dorchester, the South End, and the Fenway). In this position, I collaborated directly with diverse communities on a number of initiatives such as Reclaim Roxbury – a community-driven effort that brought together over 150 community members to advocate for urban development that benefits all residents. I fought to protect affordable housing – one of the most pressing issues in many Massachusetts cities and towns. I organized legislative hearings and facilitated conversations among advocates, landlords, and lawyers. Our work resulted in a landmark agreement that is a model for protecting the availability of affordable housing. I’m confident that we can do even better in Cambridge!

Learn more about Vatsady Sivongxay, visit her website here.

Cambridge, Our Community
My husband and son and I are proud to call Cambridge home and feel fortunate to be part of such a diverse community. My husband and I met in Cambridge, got married at Cambridge City Hall, and in a few years, look forward to sending our son to Cambridge Public Schools. Like many of our neighbors, we not only embrace Cambridge’s diversity, we embody it. Our family is a blended multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial family with diverse beliefs and our Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim faiths provide us with a moral foundation for loving and supporting Stephen’s brother as a transgender man. Cambridge is a wonderful and dynamic mixture of ethnicity, culture, and history. There are families who have lived here for generations and others who more recently call this city home. It is my core belief that despite differences, we all share many common values, and by working together we can achieve our common goals.

Learn more about Vatsady Sivongxay, visit her website here.

Priorities and Issues:
Stable and Affordable Housing: I’ve fought hard to protect and expand affordable housing and will continue to do so. Skyrocketing housing costs are threatening the fabric and diversity of our community. Working together, Cambridge has the tools and resources to do better and lead in increasing affordable housing for lower to middle income families and individuals.

Economic Equity: I believe that a healthy community is one in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. I've spent years working with diverse communities as an advocate, entrepreneur, and policy director toward this vision. I’ll continue this critical collaboration to close the disparities in access to opportunities.

Sustainable Community Development & Growth: It’s vital to approach development and sustainable growth with an equitable community-driven engagement and accountability process so that everyone has greater opportunity to participate in and benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods.

Climate and Environmental Justice: I’m committed to ensuring that our at-risk areas and populations are not disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental threats. As Cambridge grows and our climate changes rapidly, with sea level rise, flooding, and extreme weather (from storms to heat waves), we must continue our commitment to sustainability and include an equity lens.

Transit and Access: As a pedestrian, cyclist, and driver, I want to ensure that we have safe streets, walkable neighborhoods, and a comprehensive bike and delivery network. We need to be efficient with our street space and make alternative modes of transportation more viable for all. We also need a resilient infrastructure that can handle our capacity needs, maintain safety for all commuters, and promote our goals for a Vision-Zero and Net-Zero city.

Investing in Our Future: As an immigrant whose family resettled in the United States after living in two refugee camps, I know firsthand how important childcare and education are to success. I’ll advocate for every child and to ensure that all have a strong start and equitable access to opportunities.

Learn more about Vatsady Sivongxay’s platform at her website here.

Candidate Statement:
“I believe that every resident of Cambridge should have equitable access to opportunities and a voice at the table. I know from my own life experience that a supportive and diverse community can bridge the opportunity gap. In this frightening national political climate, where much is at stake, uncertainty and anxiety are high, and the environment is very scary for many people--particularly women, immigrants, LGTBQ folks, seniors, students, people of color and our most vulnerable neighbors. Our voices can change the conversation.

I’m committed to bringing my passion and diverse experiences to City Council, breaking down barriers, and being a champion for Cambridge residents – especially those who don’t yet have a strong voice in government. I hope to serve as an important reminder that Cambridge is a welcoming place for all to thrive, give back, and take on crucial leadership roles.

My door is always open. Feel free to reach out to me at and visit my website – - to learn more about me and my platform for making Cambridge even better for everyone. I humbly ask for your #1 vote on November 7th.”

CCTV candidate video (2017)

Page last updated Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:41 PM Cambridge Candidates