PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — State Senators Victoria Gu and Linda Ujifusa are the first Asian Americans elected to Rhode Island’s State Legislature.

Gu, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, represents Westerly, parts of South Kingstown, and Charlestown. Ujifusa, a third-generation Japanese-American, represents Portsmouth and southern Bristol.

Gu and Ujifusa told 12 News making better policy decisions for Rhode Islanders requires a diverse legislature.

“Want to make sure that we have representation in a way that speaks to the immigrant experience,” Gu said. “In the General Assembly, we make laws for everyone.”

Ujifusa served on the Portsmouth Town Council for three terms. Gu previously chaired the Charlestown Climate Resiliency Commission.

Gu and Ujifusa, who both represent coastal communities, hope to make progress on their climate agendas. They also aim to inspire other diverse candidates to run for office and effect change locally.

“Because of the gridlock in D.C., so much of what has to happen has to happen at the state level,” Ujifusa said.

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