I grew up in Washington Heights, a primarily Latinx neighborhood near the George Washington Bridge in northern Manhattan. I was educated in the New York City Public Schools, and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science.
After high school, I jumped on the No. 1 train and rode downtown for 20 minutes from my childhood home to the hallowed halls of Columbia University. There, I met my first wife Cynthia (CC ‘89) as a freshman, and after 4 years received my BA (cum laude) in Economics in 1990.
Graduated from Columbia in May 1990. Married Cynthia in July 1990. Moved to Cambridge and started Harvard Law School in August 1990. WHAT a summer!! Navigating a new marriage and a three-year law school journey at the same time certainly tested my mettle!
Nine years of large-firm business litigation practice in downtown Boston, plus three years as an Assistant District Attorney in our own Middlesex County, paved the way for me to strike out on my own as a sole practitioner. The Law Office Of Eric R. Barber-Mingo (EBMLAW), my criminal defense and civil litigation practice, has been serving the local community since 2005.
In the copious free time that raising three kids and running a law practice allowed me, I helped out our town’s kids as much as I could by serving on the School Advisory Councils of both the Miller School and the Day School, helping run the Chess Club at the Day School, and coaching several teams in the Westford Flag Football League and the Westford Youth Baseball & Softball League.
I am presently the Co-Chair of Westford’s nascent 20-plus member Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee. I am excited about this new leadership role. As DEI Co-Chair, I am currently serving Westford by facilitating initiatives that will ensure that equitable access to Westford’s wonderful resources will be enjoyed by the entire spectrum of Westford’s residents.
If our residents can't access it or understand it, it doesn’t exist for them. I will empower all Westford residents to reap the benefits of this great town with an open, inclusive, and informative approach to governance.
"Money, it's GOTTA be the SCHOOLS!" Mars Blackmon would agree that our schools are our bedrock. Equitable access to the excellence that is WPS - and the embrace of the wealth of culture that each student brings to school each day - is a foundational goal for me.
A core function of the Select Board is ... wait for it ... handling legal issues! To quote the Select Board website: "Purpose - The Select Board Members are the chief policy making officials of the town and are responsible for the enforcement of all town bylaws and regulations ...” Well, guess who's been practicing law for the last 28 years ... 16 of them right in your back yard? THIS candidate!
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it, just relax and let it go . . . BUT . . . the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always just-ice." Nodding to Midnight Star and Amanda Gorman, I'll strive to seamlessly merge the wisdom of Westford's tried and true systems with the vitality and ingenuity of those who are “new” to Westford residency and governance.
(1) I do not support “defunding” the police as that term has come to be (mis)understood. Rather, I support using available resources to screen out negative bias from the police academy through retirement, to enhance de-escalation and mental health recognition training, and to enhance officers‘ public accountability for any wrongdoing. (2) I also support a greater network of sidewalks, crosswalks and streetlights throughout the town to make walking safer as our population and traffic grow.
As COVID-19 has made abundantly clear, a FULLY connected Westford is a better Westford. Be it cell phone “dead zones” or areas that do not have available and/or reliable high-speed internet services, Westford certainly needs improvements. I support new cell towers and enhancements to our wired delivery of internet connectivity.
With your trust and assistance, I truly believe I can help Westford enhance its standing as one of the BEST towns in Massachusetts!! Thank you for your attention . . . AND YOUR SUPPORT! EBM