Association of Secular Elected Officials
Connecting Secular Elected Officials Nationwide
The number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is growing rapidly; however, this community is severely underrepresented in the political arena. As more and more people are willing to publicly proclaim their lack of religious beliefs or religious affiliation, the bias against this community is beginning to diminish.
At the same time, the lines between religion and government become increasingly blurred as lawmakers at all levels of government cater to Christian Nationalists and carry out their political agenda. In the face of this assault on the First Amendment and the religious freedoms it protects, Secular Elected Officials must be vigilant in protecting our Constitution and ensuring that our government protects the freedoms of all faiths and none.
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. 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.
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.
Secular Elected Officials must stand up and be a public voice on issues of church-state separation, actively oppose discrimination against the nonreligious and other religious minorities, and promote evidence-based public policy.
We are a resource on secular issues pertaining to healthcare, the environment, civil and human rights, and other areas of policy in which religion is entangled with our government and where a secular, evidence-based approach would achieve better results for the constituents our members are elected to serve.
We provide a forum for connecting, sharing, and learning with other secular elected officials across the country.
Regular Membership is automatically granted to former or current publicly non-theist elected or appointed officials at the local, state, or federal level
Anyone else interested in the goals of ASEO is eligible to become an Associate Member
Access past webinar recordings and model policies.
ASEO schedules regular webinars with policy experts to share legislation and best practices for the work you do as elected officials. Our members share their legislative expertise and we hear from policy experts from other organizations.
Do you have one?
ASEO supports the formation and development of state-level secular legislative caucuses such as the ones in New Hampshire and Minnesota.
you are not alone
Many secular elected officials have been attacked for their secular views and many more than that regularly find themselves in positions where religion is taken for the norm. We help connect officials who have similar experiences at prayer before official meetings or when asked about religion by a potential voter.
How to Run for Office
Secular Representation Matters
Get Politically Involved
We speak to groups about the importance of being involved in elections and how people can individually help candidates or become candidates! Fill out this form to request a speaking engagement.
Running for Office
Get a Mentor
Contact ASEO to request a mentor to help guide you through running for office as a nonreligious person.
Your tax-deductible charitable donation helps ASEO support, educate, and connect secular elected officials nationwide.
Association of Secular Elected Officials, Inc.
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 IRS 501(c)(3) status.
Board of Directors
- Leonard Presberg, President, Fayette County (GA) School Board
- Krisitiana de Leon, Board Member, Black Diamond (WA) City Council
- Danny Choriki, Treasurer, Billings (MT) City Council
- Sherry Dutzy, Board Member, NH State Representative
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.
I am thrilled to be part of the long overdue work in engaging the growing number of secular voters, activists, policymakers, and all-around changemakers! As a proud Humanist who sees the precious urgency of now and of this lifetime, it is so critical that we continue to recognize our strength as a movement, especially as it relates to our own unique perspectives informed by both our stories and by reason. When secular electeds and activists work together with neighbors who share our same values, we can transform and create more just and equitable communities, and care for our planet’s future. There is power in our voices if we are not afraid to use it.
Kristiana de Leon
Kristiana de Leon serves on the Planning/Community Services Committee and Budget/Finance/Administration Committee on the City Council in Black Diamond, Washington, where she openly identifies as an atheist and Secular Humanist. She was elected to the four-year position in 2019 and has spent her time working on issues related to diversity and inclusion, transportation, environmental concerns, and lobbying for the needs of her neighbors through working with additional state and federal offices. Kristiana grew up in Kent, Washington and received undergraduate degrees in Global Studies, Chinese Studies, and Scandinavian Studies, as well as her Master’s Degree in Education, at Pacific Lutheran University. Kristiana worked in the public education system for seven years, first as an administrative assistant in a high school counseling center, and later as a secondary teacher for ELL (English Language Learners) and English Language Arts. When she is not engaging in her passion for local politics, she enjoys Star Trek, painting, hiking, trail running, and attending group fitness classes. She lives with her spouse and is owned by two pesky dogs.
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.
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.
Sherry grew up in a working-class suburb of Detroit. She earned her BA in Sociology & Social Welfare at California State University – Long Beach and has a Master of Social Work degree from Boston University. She worked in the field for 8 years before earning an MBA at Northeastern.
Her work took her to many countries, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, where she was introduced to many religions and cultures. One memorable moment was when she stood in a 2nd floor office in Ho Chi Min City, as the city was preparing for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Fall of Saigon, looking across the street at a schoolyard of children at a Catholic school playing. Halfway around the world, in a country that was devastated by a war engaged in by the US, and this scene could have been anywhere in the world. We are all one!
After leaving the Catholic Church in her late teens, Sherry went back a few times to see if a religious message would resonate with her. It never did. She now views religion (as opposed to faith) as one of the first scams perpetrated by man on man.
In semi-retirement, Sherry wanted to give back to her community and was appointed to the Nashua Conservation Commission which she now chairs. Co-existence, conservation, stewardship are words that she lives by.
After the 2016 Presidential debacle, Sherry and a friend decided to get involved in politics. They ran and won seats in their ward as Selectmen, which is actually an elected poll worker. As she loves to say, “it was the least we could do” with the emphasis on ‘least”. In 2018 Sherry ran and won her seat as a State Representative. Dutzy is now serving her 2nd term in the NH House representing Hillsborough 30, Nashua Ward 3. A firm believer that “democracy is not a spectator sport,” Dutzy works to increase civic engagement and build closer relationships between constituents and their representatives. In the legislature, she has supported increased funding for public education, increasing the minimum wage, reducing drug prices, and supporting reproductive rights. As a member of the Environment and Agriculture Committee, she works on solid waste management issues, animal protection, and farming and conservation practices.
Dutzy is a passionate supporter of democracy and is an advocate of transparency and responsive government that fully answers to its constituents. One of her favorite sayings, to paraphrase, is “For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good people to remain silent.” She identifies as a nonbeliever, secular/humanist.
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Leonard Presberg, President
Leonard Presberg, President