Bringing evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face

Victoria is a Democrat running to bring fresh, evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face in the 38th Senate District, which includes Westerly and parts of Charlestown and South Kingstown. 

Victoria currently serves as the Chair of Charlestown’s Climate Resiliency Commission, using her leadership skills and professional background in data analysis and modeling to understand the impacts of climate change on our area and how we can leverage local, state, and federal resources to help our community adapt.

Raised in South Kingstown with a long history of community service, Victoria will be a fierce and compassionate advocate for the community and the environment.

Dear Neighbor

My name is Victoria Gu, and I’m running for State Senate here in District 38, which covers Westerly and parts of Charlestown and South Kingstown. I am running to push for thoughtful, evidence-based solutions to the challenges our communities face. Because I think it’s important for you to know as much as you possibly can about the people who want to serve in public office, this letter is my way of reaching out to share more about who I am: my story, and how my background and experiences have shaped my values and priorities for our communities and led me to decide to run for office.

I grew up in South Kingstown and live near the Charlestown/Westerly border now, but my parents originally came from China when they were in their 20’s, so I only caught glimpses of my family’s past through stories. My parents both grew up in an island community just outside Shanghai, tending to tiny farms with rice paddies and chickens and ducks milling about. They sustained themselves partially from fishing and crabbing in the rice paddies and nearby waters. That changed really quickly when the government decided to fly small planes overhead to spray fields with pesticides like DDT, not giving a moment’s thought to the people who were unfortunate enough to be in the fields and would catch a hefty dose of the spray. The fish and crabs quickly died out, and that source of food was gone. Because they were so vulnerable to pollution during their childhood, my parents instilled in me the importance of protecting our natural resources: our air, water, and land.

In the 1980’s, colleges were reopening and my parents were part of the first wave of students allowed to go to America for education. My dad made it to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne on scholarship, and my mom came soon afterward. They didn’t know anyone in the U.S., but they were optimistic and grateful that they had so many more opportunities than my grandparents had. I was born right as my dad was about to graduate, and when I was 2 years old, they moved us to South Kingstown and my parents both took jobs at the University of Rhode Island.

I grew up in South Kingstown and really enjoyed being close to the coast. My dad was excited to be able to fish again. He entered many fishing competitions, often bringing me and our golden retriever, Kelly, along. Everywhere we went, Kelly and I loved clambering around the big rocks and getting sprayed by the waves. We have to do more to protect and expand public access to the shoreline in Rhode Island because it is a shared resource for all- whether you’re swimming, fishing, or making a living or a home here.

Education was the sole stepping stone my parents had into the United States and into the middle class, so they taught me to work hard at every opportunity I had in school. We soon found, though, that changes in funding had ripple effects at South Kingstown public schools and across the state. Between 2005-2011 (my middle & high school years), teachers in Rhode Island lost roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of their pension benefits. We said goodbye to some of our most experienced teachers, who retired early in order to keep their benefits. This coincided with an exodus of students- many of my classmates who could afford it opted to go to a private high school. I know we can do better. We must ensure that our public schools are well-funded, attract great teachers and staff, and that every child in the state has access to a quality education.

After graduating South Kingstown High School, I was thrilled to be accepted to Harvard University and eager to start my first year. I wanted a skill that was in-demand, so I studied computer science and economics. The classes were intense, but once every week for those four years of college, I took time off to tutor students from low-income families through an afterschool program. As I watched them, hunched over their homework, I saw that they worked hard, but the deck was stacked against them: limited school resources, language barriers (for immigrant parents), and sometimes precarious situations that they had to deal with at home. I want the students I tutored to have the educational opportunities that my parents and I had. They are the reason I will work to make sure that, no matter what family background or area you are raised in, you can do well in Rhode Island public schools and get a good-paying job afterwards.

My first job out of college was in the tech industry. I worked at a few places ranging from startups to midsize companies. No matter where I went, it was quite typical for me to be the only woman on my assigned team of 5-10 people. The management and executive-level positions are even more skewed. At my first company, luckily, I had women engineers and a few women managers on other teams to look up to. We supported each other through a women in engineering group. A lot of men also wanted to know how they could be helpful, so I decided to organize an Ally Skills Workshop, which taught people how to be allies to women and other under-represented groups in the workplace. My experience in a heavily male-dominated industry has motivated me to advocate for and empower women. I’m running as a proud pro-choice Democrat because with everything that’s happening with the Supreme Court, we need to elect more women who will fight for equality and protect our rights, including our reproductive rights.

One mindset I took away from my experience working in software engineering and data analysis is: always use data to figure out your next step. On our team, we’d often say: “Hey, we think doctors would benefit from this change in the application,” and then we’d look at the data before and after the change to see if we actually solved the problem we wanted to solve. I was surprised to find that other industries, as well as many policymakers, aren’t as focused on digging into the best evidence available to inform their decisions. That’s why I want to bring an evidence-based point of view to the state legislature. I would focus on using evidence to develop informed solutions and track the data over time to monitor success.

I worked in health technology during the day, but in my free time I focused on advocacy and policy making. I’m proud of the coalition of environmental groups and health professionals that I organized to shift government food purchases in several key areas: sourcing from companies without labor violations, sourcing more locally, improving nutrition standards, and increasing environmental sustainability. In my advocacy work, I’ve learned how to turn ideas into bills, build support from legislators and community organizations, and move bills across the finish line. I’m ready to take that knowledge to the state house.

The COVID-19 pandemic led many people, including me, to leave their small apartments in the city. I was already weary of Silicon Valley. People didn’t invest in the community because they didn’t think they’d be there longer-term. Back in South County, though, I keep running into high school classmates or their cousins or grandparents. There are many generations of families living in this area. My parents are still in the same house I grew up in, and I was able to find a place close to Quonochontaug pond, near the Westerly/Charlestown border.

There’s no question that our coastal communities- including Westerly, Charlestown, and South Kingstown- are vulnerable to sea level rise and storms intensified by climate change. That’s why I joined the local Climate Resiliency Commission and was honored to be named Chair.

Together, we can protect our natural environment and make sure that our community continues to be a great place to raise a family and retire. In the coming weeks, I will be out in our community to meet people, and I would love to learn more about what’s on your mind and your priorities for our community. I would be honored to earn your vote in the Democratic Primary on September 13th, 2022. You can reach me at 401-388-0696 or at victoria4ri@gmail.com

Victoria Gu

Bringing evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face

Victoria is running to bring fresh, evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face in the 38th Senate District, which includes Westerly and parts of Charlestown and South Kingstown. 

Victoria currently serves as the Chair of Charlestown’s Climate Resiliency Commission, using her leadership skills and professional background in data analysis and modeling to understand the impacts of climate change on our area and how we can leverage local, state, and federal resources to help our community adapt.

Raised in South Kingstown with a long history of community service, Victoria will be a fierce and compassionate advocate for the community and the environment.

Dear Neighbor

My name is Victoria Gu, and I’m running for State Senate here in District 38, which covers Westerly and parts of Charlestown and South Kingstown. I am running to push for thoughtful, evidence-based solutions to the challenges our communities face. Because I think it’s important for you to know as much as you possibly can about the people who want to serve in public office, this letter is my way of reaching out to share more about who I am: my story, and how my background and experiences have shaped my values and priorities for our communities and led me to decide to run for office.

I grew up in South Kingstown and live near the Charlestown/Westerly border now, but my parents originally came from China when they were in their 20’s, so I only caught glimpses of my family’s past through stories. My parents both grew up in an island community just outside Shanghai, tending to tiny farms with rice paddies and chickens and ducks milling about. They sustained themselves partially from fishing and crabbing in the rice paddies and nearby waters. That changed really quickly when the government decided to fly small planes overhead to spray fields with pesticides like DDT, not giving a moment’s thought to the people who were unfortunate enough to be in the fields and would catch a hefty dose of the spray. The fish and crabs quickly died out, and that source of food was gone. Because they were so vulnerable to pollution during their childhood, my parents instilled in me the importance of protecting our natural resources: our air, water, and land.

In the 1980’s, colleges were reopening and my parents were part of the first wave of students allowed to go to America for education. My dad made it to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne on scholarship, and my mom came soon afterward. They didn’t know anyone in the U.S., but they were optimistic and grateful that they had so many more opportunities than my grandparents had. I was born right as my dad was about to graduate, and when I was 2 years old, they moved us to South Kingstown and my parents both took jobs at the University of Rhode Island.

I grew up in South Kingstown and really enjoyed being close to the coast. My dad was excited to be able to fish again. He entered many fishing competitions, often bringing me and our golden retriever, Kelly, along. Everywhere we went, Kelly and I loved clambering around the big rocks and getting sprayed by the waves. We have to do more to protect and expand public access to the shoreline in Rhode Island because it is a shared resource for all- whether you’re swimming, fishing, or making a living or a home here.

Education was the sole stepping stone my parents had into the United States and into the middle class, so they taught me to work hard at every opportunity I had in school. We soon found, though, that changes in funding had ripple effects at South Kingstown public schools and across the state. Between 2005-2011 (my middle & high school years), teachers in Rhode Island lost roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of their pension benefits. We said goodbye to some of our most experienced teachers, who retired early in order to keep their benefits. This coincided with an exodus of students- many of my classmates who could afford it opted to go to a private high school. I know we can do better. We must ensure that our public schools are well-funded, attract great teachers and staff, and that every child in the state has access to a quality education. 

After graduating South Kingstown High School, I was thrilled to be accepted to Harvard University and eager to start my first year. I wanted a skill that was in-demand, so I studied computer science and economics. The classes were intense, but once every week for those four years of college, I took time off to tutor students from low-income families through an afterschool program. As I watched them, hunched over their homework, I saw that they worked hard, but the deck was stacked against them: limited school resources, language barriers (for immigrant parents), and sometimes precarious situations that they had to deal with at home. I want the students I tutored to have the educational opportunities that my parents and I had. They are the reason I will work to make sure that, no matter what family background or area you are raised in, you can do well in Rhode Island public schools and get a good-paying job afterwards. 

My first job out of college was in the tech industry. I worked at a few places ranging from startups to midsize companies. No matter where I went, it was quite typical for me to be the only woman on my assigned team of 5-10 people. The management and executive-level positions are even more skewed. At my first company, luckily, I had women engineers and a few women managers on other teams to look up to. We supported each other through a women in engineering group. A lot of men also wanted to know how they could be helpful, so I decided to organize an Ally Skills Workshop, which taught people how to be allies to women and other under-represented groups in the workplace. My experience in a heavily male-dominated industry has motivated me to advocate for and empower women. I’m running as a proud pro-choice Democrat because with everything that’s happening with the Supreme Court, we need to elect more women who will fight for equality and protect our rights, including our reproductive rights.  

One mindset I took away from my experience working in software engineering and data analysis is: always use data to figure out your next step. On our team, we’d often say: “Hey, we think doctors would benefit from this change in the application,” and then we’d look at the data before and after the change to see if we actually solved the problem we wanted to solve. I was surprised to find that other industries, as well as many policymakers, aren’t as focused on digging into the best evidence available to inform their decisions. That’s why I want to bring an evidence-based point of view to the state legislature. I would focus on using evidence to develop informed solutions and track the data over time to monitor success.

I worked in health technology during the day, but in my free time I focused on advocacy and policy making. I’m proud of the coalition of environmental groups and health professionals that I organized to shift government food purchases in several key areas: sourcing from companies without labor violations, sourcing more locally, improving nutrition standards, and increasing environmental sustainability. In my advocacy work, I’ve learned how to turn ideas into bills, build support from legislators and community organizations, and move bills across the finish line. I’m ready to take that knowledge to the state house.

The COVID-19 pandemic led many people, including me, to leave their small apartments in the city. I was already weary of Silicon Valley. People didn’t invest in the community because they didn’t think they’d be there longer-term. Back in South County, though, I keep running into high school classmates or their cousins or grandparents. There are many generations of families living in this area. My parents are still in the same house I grew up in, and I was able to find a place close to Quonnie pond, near the Westerly/Charlestown border.

There’s no question that our coastal communities- including Westerly, Charlestown, and South Kingstown- are vulnerable to sea level rise and storms intensified by climate change. That’s why I joined the local Climate Resiliency Commission and was honored to be named Chair. 

Together, we can protect our natural environment and make sure that our community continues to be a great place to raise a family and retire.  In the coming weeks, I will be out in our community to meet people, and I would love to learn more about what’s on your mind and your priorities for our community. I would be honored to earn your vote in the Democratic Primary on September 13th, 2022. You can reach me at 401-388-0696 or at victoria4ri@gmail.com

Bringing evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face

Victoria is running to bring fresh, evidence-based solutions to the challenges we face in the 36th House District, which includes Charlestown, Block Island, and parts of South Kingstown and Westerly. 

Victoria currently serves as the Chair of Charlestown’s Climate Resiliency Commission, using her leadership skills and professional background in data analysis and modeling to understand the impacts of climate change on our area and how we can leverage local, state, and federal resources to help our community adapt.

Raised in South Kingstown with a long history of community service, Victoria will be a fierce and compassionate advocate for the community and the environment.