Joseph L. Cobb

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Incumbent


Joseph L. Cobb earned a BS in Philosophy from Southwestern College and an MS of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology. He is currently completing PhD at Columbia Theological Seminary. He served as Vice Mayor from 2018 to 2020 and has been on Roanoke City Council since 2018. Cobb works as Chaplain at Hermitage Roanoke—a senior living community in Northwest Roanoke. He is co-author of Our Family Outing: A Memoir of Coming Out and Coming Through [1].
Cobb is the Chair at Community Services Council Board of Directors and Gun Violence Prevention Commission in Roanoke. He also holds leadership in GRTC (Greater Roanoke Transit Company). He is the Vice Chair of the City Council Personnel Committee. In addition, Cobb is also a member of several committees: City Council’s Legislative Committee, Board of Directors for Equality Virginia, Roanoke Valley Sisters Cities, TAP This Valley Works Board of Commissioners, Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Regional Commission, and Clean Valley Council [1]. Outside, he has been an outreach coordinator at Highland Park Elementary School [2].

Key Issues


Cobb prefers a more equitable tax rebate rate of 82.77 per vehicle rather than the 17.5% [1].


Cobb is in favor of addressing the pain from root causes of poverty in order for Roanoke to become more healthy [1].

Civil Rights

Cobb wants to create a city that engages in conversations about what makes us unique. He aims to transform Roanoke into an anti-racist city that practices inclusion. He wants to evaluate the city government through an equity lens, identify gaps and barriers to equity, and establish practices that ensure long-term sustainability. Cobb also plans to create a city-wide commission on racial healing and transformation to keep the city in conversation about transforming its segregation into inclusion [1].


Cobb hopes to sustain and redirect funding to address deferred infrastructure needs including safe, walkable sidewalks with easy access for persons with physical mobility challenges, crosswalks, newly paved streets, stormwater runoff to reduce flooding, and multi-modal roadways for bikes, cars and buses [1].


Cobb prioritizes being green through renewable energy and planting more trees [1].


Cobb plans to meet regularly with people with disabilities to address infrastructure, housing and health care needs and realities [1].


Cobb advocates for creating an Emerging Leaders Institute to identify, train and empower current and future leaders for Roanoke. He plans to engage regional partners in expanding Roanoke’s impact in collaboration with Virginia CareerWorks, Virginia Western Community College and Carilion Workforce Development [1].

Public Safety

Cobb is in favor of adding incentives to bring new officers to the Police Academy and join the team of officers through signing incentives, step pay-level increases, and bonuses [1].


Cobb wants to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem blueprint for our city and region by working collaboratively with the Roanoke Regional Partnership and other partners [1].


Business Leadership Fund (BLF); Roanoke City Democratic Committee


1 Joe Cobb for Roanoke
2 Roanoke, VA
3 Facebook
4 Roanoke Rambler
5 WSLS 10 News
6 Equality Virginia
7 WFIR News
8 The Roanoker
9 LinkedIn
10 Roanoke City Democratic Committee