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Two Views of Monterey Park's Bilingual Dispute

August 15, 1991

It's ironic. Monterey Park Councilwoman Judy Chu is being torn to ribbons by the Chinese media because they think she was ready to compromise on supporting a bilingual 911 emergency dispatch system.

History repeats itself.

In 1985, Monterey Park Councilwoman Lily Chen was immediately torn to shreds by the same Chinese media when she suggested a law that would require the use of English on business signs.

The Chinese community withdrew their support of her as their leader. Lily Chen was voted out of office, never to return to politics. Chu may face the same political oblivion as Chen.

I think they should have heeded the biblical injunction that "no man can serve two masters" and instead concentrated on serving us as Americans and not as ethnic minorities.

Still, I admire them both for taking unpopular positions that they must have known would get them in trouble with their supporters.

I think that the idea of a bilingual emergency dispatch system, like an English language requirement for business signs, is a good idea, but I think a bilingual dispatch system must be investigated and questioned on its merits without the emotionalism that seems to accompany so many of the demands some of our new immigrants are making.

FRANK J. ARCURI

Monterey Park

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