Alhambra does not provide enough city services in Chinese, World Journal (世界日报) reports. While Alhambra offers some multilingual access for its nearly 40 percent Chinese population, the city's official website is all in English, without any links to translation.
Alhambra Councilman Stephen Sham told World Journal it is unnecessary and unrealistic to hire a translator for city services with low demand, since it would be a waste of the city’s resources. Bilingual city staff members usually offer help for simple services such as paying for city fines, according to Sham. For complex services such as land entitlement and construction permit, the residents must hire a translator or a lawyer who can speak Chinese.
The Alhambra Police Department's telephone system also offers Chinese services, Sham told World Journal. If the caller says “Chinese”, they will be connected to a translator.
Other San Gabriel Valley cities with a high Chinese population, such as San Gabriel, Rosemead, Arcadia, Diamond Bar, and Walnut, provide little or no government services in Chinese. Walnut Mayor Mary Su said that many cities are cutting their budgets and do not have enough resources to offer bilingual services.
Monterey Park has the most comprehensive Chinese translation service among Chinese-concentrated cities in the San Gabriel Valley, according to World Journal. Most of the city's departments offer services in Chinese, Monterey Park Councilman Anthony Wong told World Journal. The city’s official website has Chinese pages listing all government services. Monterey Park City Manager Paul Talbot said that bilingual city staff in Monterey Park even enjoy a salary bonus.
Do you think Alhambra should offer more city services in Chinese?