Joshua Cole

Virginia House of Delegates | District 28

Joshua received his start in politics in 2005 when he was appointed by then-speaker, the Honorable William J. Howell as a Page for the Virginia House of Delegates. That same year he was chosen as the Governor’s Page for Governor Mark R. Warner. He returned to the General Assembly again in 2016 as a Staff Assistant to the Clerk of the Virginia State Senate.

In 2017 he became the first African-American and youngest person to receive any party’s nomination for the Virginia House of Delegates in Virginia’s 28th District. The race was riddled with controversy after he fell short of winning by 73 votes, and over 143 people received ballots for wrong districts. After the election he was appointed to serve as the Chief of Staff for Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler. He currently serves on Stafford County Public School’s Superintendent’s Equity, Diversity and Opportunity Committee, the Greater Fredericksburg Area Interfaith Council, the President of the Stafford County NAACP and a host of other local and community initiatives.

His love for education is exemplified in various exploits. He has served as an Academic Advisor for Liberty University, A Behavioral Aid in the Richmond City Public Schools, Mentor at the Rappahanock Boys and Girls Club and numerous years as a Youth Minister.

Learn more about Virginia, and more about the General Assembly.

Read more on Joshua's website.


On The Issues

Healthcare For All
Lets make this clear: healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. Last year we pushed through Medicaid expansion, but Republicans tacked on work-requirements. Now, we’ve got a job to finish: repeal the requirements and pass Medicaid-for-All so every Virginian can see a doctor.

Fix Our Broken Transportation System
If you’ve ever driven on I-95, I don’t need to explain. Our area remains the worst traffic hotspot in the U.S and shows no sign of letting up. We need a delegate who will actually put forward the legislation to end this traffic nightmare, not just talk about the issue.

Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment
Until we ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), it is still legal to discriminate against a person because of their sex. That must end. All people are equal, regardless of their sex or gender identity. Our opponent has been fighting against the ERA and voted against a measure that could have lead to the passing of the bill. We will make it a priority once elected. We only need one more state to ratify the ERA, let’s make it Virginia.

Protect Reproductive Freedom
Every year, conservatives in Richmond try to strip Virginians of their reproductive liberties. We can’t infringe on bodily autonomy. We must block any attempt to criminalize abortion, silence victims of assault, or restrict birth control and repeal existing laws limiting freedoms.

LGBTQ Equality
Far too long has the LGBTQ community been marginalized and discriminated against. We will fight for equality for the LGBTQ community and remain committed to ending bullying and violence in their communities. It’s unacceptable that members of the LGBTQ community can still be refused service at a store or restaurant and be evicted from their homes. This fight is not over and I will continue to support any legislation that supports equality for the LGBTQ community

A $15/HR Living Wage
Virginians are struggling under the current system. Today we’re working harder and longer hours and a $7.25 minimum wage is not cutting it. Meanwhile, the top 10% make 237 times more than the poorest 10%. We need to protect unions, reach equal pay, and raise our wages.

Make Housing Affordable For All
Eviction rates across the district are far above the national average. In 2016, landlords evicted 1 out of 27 residents in Fredericksburg. When an unexpected car repair can mean destitution, we need a change. Our next delegate must fight for rent control and to end homelessness.

No More Rigged Elections
If the 2017 elections taught us anything, it’s that gerrymandering and split-precinct voting makes elections unfair and undemocratic. Let’s end these confusing, rigged elections. We need third-party redistricting, automatic voter registration, and no-split precincts.

Stop Mass Shootings and Gun Violence
In 2017 alone, 346 mass shootings occurred in the US. We can no longer entertain a debate over whether or not guns are the real problem because the truth is obvious. We need a delegate who will keep weapons from dangerous individuals and keep our schools and public spaces safe

End For-Profit Mass Incarceration
Our criminal justice system desperately needs reform. The failed “War on Drugs” caused levels of incarceration unseen in our history, with imprisonment disproportionately affecting Blacks and Latinos. We must reform our law enforcement, end monetary bail, and legalize cannabis.

Campaign Finance
Our campaign is not a puppet of big money— to challenge the machine we cannot accept its norms. We are proud to be a people-funded campaign that relies on donations from everyday working-class citizens. We do not accept corporate PAC contributions or corporate lobbyist contributions. Politicians often serve money, but our loyalties lie with the people. Our future depends on putting people above profit. For the sake of our state, our nation, our world,we invite you to join our fight.

Why This Race Is Important

2019 is a thrilling year for Democrats in the Commonwealth—just one seat down in both the state Senate and the House of Delegates, the party is poised to take control of the General Assembly and turn Virginia into a trifecta for the Democrats. New, court-mandated district maps more fairly represent Democratic voters in Virginia, which means some Republican-held districts are now in play. And, these are all “Last Chance” races; the legislators elected in 2019 will be serving during the 2021 redistricting process.

In 2017, Virginia was one of the first states to hold a general election during the Trump presidency, and the historic “blue wave” of Democrats who won office was widely considered a bellwether of the Trump “resistance” movement. Sister District supported 14 races in Virginia in 2017, and we are thrilled to return to the Commonwealth in 2019 and finish the job.

Sister District Policy Scorecard

This candidate has pledged commitment to the following statements:

  • We must protect a woman’s right to choose the health care and reproductive services she wants and needs.
  • We need to protect and expand our social safety net, not dismantle it.
  • We should pursue common-sense gun safety policies, consistent with the Second Amendment and local community standards and needs, which vary from community to community.
  • Climate change is real and we need to protect our environment.
  • We need to protect all members of our diverse community, and ensure that everyone, including the most vulnerable, is treated with fairness, justice, and equality.
  • We need to ensure that districts are drawn fairly and protect the right to vote, so that everyone can have a voice in politics.
Joshua Cole

Joshua Cole

Virginia House of Delegates | District 28
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