José Santos Woss

Legislative Manager, Criminal Justice and Election Integrity

Jose Santos Woss

José Woss is the Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. He leads FCNL’s work on criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform (election integrity), and police militarization. He co-Chairs the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, an alliance of approximately 50 national faith groups advocating to end mass incarceration.

Prior to joining FCNL, José was the Policy Fellow for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) bringing Quaker values to a busy policy portfolio consisting of criminal justice reform, human rights, and peacebuilding research. His passion for racial justice led him to help lead a coalition advocating for the human rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent facing statelessness. Before joining the Quaker community he lobbied on public health and appropriations for a large international law firm. A D.C. resident since 2011, José started his career in public policy working for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. There he built a robust understanding of public policy, legislative process, and effectively communicating policy/politics to constituents.

Before his time in the U.S. Senate, José was a social worker for HIV-positive clients in New York City. While attending Montclair State University and right after graduating he served as an AmeriCorps member in a community-based, immigrant-serving nonprofit helping recently-arrived African refugees in New Jersey. He also provided French interpretation and translation services for Survivors of Torture counseling and asylum legal proceedings. José’s national service and time as a social worker illustrated the ways society often leaves so many people behind. This changed his life, and he became firmly committed to improving the country that gave his family so much.

José is a proud son of immigrants who’s passionate about politics, public service, and social justice. In his free time he is studying for a Master of Public Administration at American University, tweeting too much, biking when the weather agrees, and reading everything he can! He is a member of All Souls Church, Unitarian where his social justice ministry (the Reeb Project) focuses on election integrity including supporting the work of Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II in North Carolina.

Articles by José Santos Woss

Press Release Virginia Faith Leaders Urge Rep. Goodlatte to Re-introduce Sentencing Reform  

On Monday November 13th, the Friends Committee on National Legislation convened local faith leaders in Lynchburg, Virginia to call on Rep. Bob Goodlatte to re-introduce his 2015 Sentencing Reform Act.

FCNL in the News St Louis protests: 'The new Selma' 

FCNL's José Woss explains how white supremacy and militarization together spur police brutality against black protesters and communities.

FCNL in the News US police chief wanted to 'mow down' black people 

Al Jazeera quotes FCNL's José Woss on the lack of accountability for police violence.

Statement Senators Paul, Schatz, and Wyden Reintroduce Bill to Demilitarize Law Enforcement 

Senators Rand Paul (KY), Brian Schatz (HI), and Ron Wyden (OR) have reintroduced S.1856, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act (SMLA). This bill would prohibit the transfer of deadly military equipment to local police departments from the Pentagon under the 1033 program.

Update Improving Election Integrity Through Our Voices 

Elections are often dominated by who can raise the most money to blanket the airwaves. This is at the heart of the worst problem affecting the integrity of our elections: money in politics and access.

Update One Step Forward and Another Step Back on Criminal Justice 

This month, our efforts on criminal justice reform have seen some positive developments in new legislation... and one particularly bad bill.

FCNL in the News Emancipation Without Freedom 

Racism and white supremacy, the malignant cancers plaguing America today, are a joint system destroying black and brown bodies. In the past, the Klan did that destroying. Today, statistics do. Those statistics amount to the erasure of people.

Update DOJ to Funnel More Than $1 billion into Mass Incarceration 

The President’s proposed budget recycles the same failed policies that have devastated communities. The Attorney General recently requested that federal prosecutors charge the highest provable offenses.

Statement Voter Suppression, Not Voter Fraud, Threatens Election Integrity 

The President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity has a troubling potential to suppress the vote through unnecessary and potentially onerous restrictions.

Statement Attorney General Sessions Escalates War on Drugs 

Mr. Sessions is directing federal prosecutors to impose overly harsh mandatory minimum sentences on drug crimes further devastating communities that need help.