who and why we areAssociation of Secular Elected Officials
Association of Secular Elected Officials
The religiously unaffiliated are the fastest growing demographic in the country and the number of elected officials from this community is also growing. These elected officials do not hold theistic or other supernatural beliefs and seek to govern and advance public policy based on evidence, reason, and compassion. They use many identifiers, including: atheist, humanist, agnostic, skeptic, nonreligious, freethinker, nonbeliever, religiously unaffiliated, and/or spiritual but not religious. We use the word “secular” as shorthand for the wide variety of nonreligious identifiers our members choose.
By openly serving as secular elected officials our members help dispel the prejudice against the nonreligious community, encourage other members of this community to run for office, and make our democracy stronger. The United States’ democratic experiment will be more successful when all Americans participate and are represented in our public institutions. The nonreligious community must be visible and welcomed participants.
The goal of this association is to help elected officials be authentic about their beliefs and ethics, and provide a forum for elected officials to connect with each other for education, support and fellowship.
ASEO was conceived of by Leonard Presberg and Ron Millar at the beginning of 2020 and following a pandemic-related hiatus, formally convened its first Board Meeting in December 2020. The Association of Secular Officials, Inc, is a Georgia Non-Profit Corporation and has applied for IRS 501(c)(3) status.
Founder and President
Leonard has been a member of the Fayette County School Board since December 2011 and is a former Chair of the Fayette Democratic Committee.
Leonard graduated with a BA from Oberlin College and a JD, magna cum laude, from University of Richmond. He is a former preschool teacher and currently serves as the CFO for Women’s Medical Center.
Leonard has served as a coach and volunteer in various non profits. Currently, Leonard serves on the Boards of the Red Clay Storytelling Festival and Fayette Votes!
Leonard and his wife Elizabeth have three children.
“Almost half of today’s young voters identify as “nones.” For too long the non-religious have been excluded from being open about their constitutional right to be non-religious. As the need for science-based policy is paramount, we have a vocal minority pushing for special rights for their religious beliefs. Now, more than ever, we need to support and educate our non-theistic elected colleagues as they work to make our country and their community better for everyone, regardless of their religious or non-religous beliefs. That’s why I’m calling on my elected and appointed colleagues to join me to share support and resources as a member of the Association of Secular Elected Officials.”
Charlene Komar Storey
Born and raised in Montana, Danny Choriki moved to New York City in his twenties to figure out how people cope with rapid social and technical changes and how to encourage humans to pay more attention to long-term dangers such as climate change. An environmental social scientist, Choriki has been a humanist all of his life and a non-theist since high school, He has been involved in politics and culture, and social change all of his life.
Choriki is currently a member of the Billings City Council in Montana. He has been the President of the Billings Association of Humanists since 2013 and has worked to advance public policy driven by science and data.
“We live in a time of intense economic and social change driven by technological, cultural, and market forces. Our daily lives will continue to change. We must face these changes with hope in the future, faith in each other, and public policies that are driven by outcomes and not by ideology. We have the abilities and the knowledge to create a better future for everyone. We need to act with courage and purpose. We need to be the solution.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof