Warren Graves, one of the few survivors from the Walter Washington administration to hold a top position in Marion Barry's administration, has seen an important difference since Barry became mayor.
Graves, who has been appointed by Barry as special assistant for constituent services, said a number of agencies that formerly ignored the mayor's office are now responding.
In his job, which he says is similar to the work he did in the Washington administration, Graves answers complaints of residents who feel a particular government agency has failed to meet their needs.
When he was working for the Washington administration, he said, he frequently encountered opposition. "I called one city agency and told them I was calling for the mayor, and the person on the other line replied, 'I won't hold that against you' -- that was an actual quote," said Graves.
Graves said he believed that although these people probably respected Washington personally, they "did not respect his powr in office."
Those attitudes have changed with the election of Barry, according to Graves, who added: "Barry will not have to make his own phone calls."
Graves, who lives on Alton Place in Upper Northwest, is married and has three children. He attended Howard University and has received special training in executive management and business administration at Sterling Institute in Washington.
Since his appointment, he said, his office has been inundated with phone calls from constituents."We don't have time to help those people who have not tried the system. We can only really help those who have had problems dealing with government agencies."
Graves, 35, has been active in politics for more than a decade. He served as deputy campaing manager for Walter Washington's 1978 reelection campaign and also worked in Washington's 1974 campaign organization.