Maurice A. West II is a proud graduate of Jefferson High School, class of 2003. After high school he went on to receive his Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology from Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, and Master's degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. After completing his education he came back to Rockford and began working at Rock Valley College (RVC) as a Career Counselor for the Dislocated Workers Program. For three and a half years he assisted people within the community who were laid-off from their jobs to find new work and/or be retrained to become more marketable in the workforce. While at Rock Valley,
he received the Booker Washington Community Center’s 25 Black Leaders to Watch Young Leader on the Rise Award in 2012.
Maurice is heavily involved in his community. He is an ordained minister and an active member of his church. He's the founder of the Share the Warmth - Rockford, which provides warm articles of clothing for the homeless each year. He served as a community member for the Education Committee for the Rockford Public School Board and the Rockford Park District Foundation. He also served on the boards for the Community Action Agency, Rockford Area Arts Council and RAMM. In 2014, the Register Star recognized West as one of the 14 to Watch in 2014 for his community activism.
Maurice is currently serving his third term as State Representative. He is a member of Speaker Chris Welch's leadership team serving as Assistant Floor Whip in the 103rd General Assembly. His current committee assignments are Ethics & Elections (Chair), Mental Health & Addiction (Vice-Chair), Higher Education, Cities & Villages, and Restorative Justice.
In 2021, Rep. West was appointed to the Legislative Ethics Commission by Speaker Welch. The LEC is a bipartisan board comprised of eight commissioners. In July 2022, Maurice was appointed as Chair of the LEC.
During his first two terms in office, Rep. West contributed to efforts that helped move Illinois forward. He is particularly proud of his work to enhance worker skills and close the skills gap in the Rockford community by bringing over $3 million for training and youth employment. He also committed himself to being a strong advocate for mental health and restorative justice.
Maurice an award-winning music composer and founder of TheWESTMelodies. He is married to Leslie and has a daughter, Brein McKenzie.
The WEST Political Manifesto of Today.
My mission is to serve as an elected official solely directed by a manifesto that I adopted early in my career. This manifesto is my personal political values. These values are built by my life experiences and beliefs - especially my call to preach the Gospel. This manifesto serves as my playbook to abide by, thus, every move I make, every vote I take, is not for the party. I make the move or take the vote because it aligns with these 12-points.
I adopted the manifesto of John Wesley, who is the founder of the Methodist Church in the 18th Century. These 12-points are visible in all of my offices.
"Never dream of forcing [people] into the ways of God. Think yourself and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are the farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love." ~John Wesley
The WEST Political Manifesto of Today
Reduce the gap between rich people and poor people.
Help everyone to have a job.
Help the poorest, including introducing a living wage.
Offer the best possible education.
Help everyone to feel they can make a difference.
Promote equal treatment for Women.
Create a society based on values and not profits and consumerism.
End all forms of slavery.
Avoid getting into wars.
Avoid narrow self-interest and promote a world view.
Care for the environment.