When Del. Walter K. Fauntroy, hardware store executive John W. Hechinger, lawyers Robert B Washington Jr. and Harley J. Daniels, Dr. Bette L. Catoe, Howard University professor Douglas Glasgow, economic consultant Timonthy Jenkins and banker William B. Fitzgerald speak, Sterling Tucker listens.
Those eight people are among the closest political and governmental advisers to Tucker, the City Council chairman running for the Democratic mayroal nomination in next Tuesday's party primary.
All eight have spent years working with Tucker on political campaigns and a variety of other efforts, such as the long fight to win home rule legislation for the District of Columbia and more recently the successful battle to get Congress to approve a constitutional amendment giving D.C. voting representation in the House and Senate.
Fauntroy, the city's non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives for the last seven years and all but assured of reelection this year, has been one of Tucker's biggest campaign boosters.
In and around lobbying for passage of the D.C. voting rights amendment and working on the congressional investigation into the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther, King, Fauntroy has walked and driven the city promoting Tucker as the best candidate for mayor.
Long a political foe of Mayor Walter E. Washington. Fauntroy has built his own political organization and now is calling for a "partnership for change" through the reelection of himself and the election of Tucker as mayor and City Councilman Arrington Dixon as council chairman.
Fauntroy from early last year has tried to mastermind the election of Tucker, but was unsuccessful in getting City Councilman Marion Barry to stay out of the mayoral race and run for council chairman. Fauntroy has voiced fears that "a divided majority" wanting Mayor Washington out of office will split its vote between Tucker and Barry, thus handing Washington another four-year term.
Hechinger, the president of the Washington-area hardware store chain that bears his name, is a former appointed City Council chairman, in the years before Congress granted the city limited home rule in 1973. Tucker said he talks to Hechinger, who for year has been a liberal voice in the generally conservative business community, about the overall directions the city should take.
Robert Washington the 35 year-old chairman of the city's Democratic Party, is head of Tucker's campaign executive committee and one of his chief political strategists. A partner in the law firm of Danzansky, Dickey, Tydings, Quint and Gordon, Washington fast has become one of the most prominent attorneys in the city especially in dealing with the city government Washington Magazine last month called him one of the "100 most powerful people" in the city, along with Fauntroy, Hechinger and Daniels.
Daniels, a partner in the law firm of Daniels, Roth and Sacks, is heading the election day operation for Tucker's campaign and also is one of his key political strategists. He has worked in the past as a staff aide for both Tucker and Fauntroy.
Dr. Catoe, a former chairman of the District of Columbia's Health Planning Advisory Committee, talks with Tucker about health issues. She also was instrumental in forming a group of physicians and dentists who have contributed money to Tucker's campaign and worked for his election.
Jenkins, president of The Match Institute, a management and economic consulting firm, is a former chairman of the city's Rental Accommodations Commission. Tucker said he knew Jenkins from his years as head of the Washington Urban League and now talks to him mostly about economic policy.
"He's a good thinker. He has a good solid mind, highly organized," Tucker said of Jenkins.
Glasgow, 45, is a former dean of the Howard University School of Social Work and now is a professor of social policy there. He said he has known Tucker for 15 years, again from Urban League Work, and helped draft several of Tucker's election position papers on issues.
He said his main role is to help Tucker understand various U.S. programs dealing with social work and how they can help District of Columbia residents.
Fitzgerald, president of Independence Federal Savings A Loan Association and a close personal friend of Tucker, likes to think of himself as a bridge between the home rule government and the city's business establishment. Opinions Fitzgerald frequently voices on housing and real state issues in the city, often are echoed in Tucker's statements.
Fitzgerald, who has helped raise money for Tucker's campaign, and Tucker were part of the group of black leaders who over the years often gathered at Billy Simpson's restaurant to plot strategy for the next civil rights battle or to discuss some problem in the city.