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Thoughtful, pragmatic Johnson getting high marks

Gordon Johnson is the new chair of the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee.-(COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)

As one of the first orders of business after being appointed chair of the Assembly Commerce & Economic Development Committee, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck) called a meeting.

His thought was to get a bunch of members of the business community all in one room and have them give him and other committee members a sense for where the state stands economically.

The Economic Opportunity Act, infrastructure development, competitiveness with New York, you name it. It was all covered.

Having worked on previous bills through the years with Johnson, David Brogan, first vice president of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, said the move came as no surprise.

“I’ve found Gordon Johnson to be a very thoughtful and pragmatic legislator … He’s the kind of guy who’s going to take input from all sides and make a decision,” said Brogan, who testified earlier this month before the committee.

Getting members of the business community together in its first meeting “set the right tone for the committee,” Brogan said.

Michael Egenton, senior vice president of government relations for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, agreed. He added that he always has found Johnson to be open and willing to listen to new ideas.

“He’s doing everything as a new chairman to make that connection with the business community and stakeholders,” Egenton said.

For Johnson, the meeting was just the first step in cultivating what he hopes will be a long and healthy working relationship with the business community.

“I plan to have a constant dialogue with the business community,” Johnson said.

That’s why Johnson said he’s already planned a second meeting for the committee on March 3 that will take testimony from members of the small business community. After that, he says he’s also looking to hear from the Economic Development Authority, Choose New Jersey and the state Business Action Center.

Andrew George

NJBIZ Business Events