Charting the Path Ahead

"The United States now enters uncharted territory, with a president-elect who has precious little political experience and is deeply distrusted by a huge portion of the American public." -Politico

Our Task Today: Keeping Focused on the Work Ahead

As Politico reported the day after the 2016 election, our nation is in uncharted territory. The country is deeply divided. That is clear. But divisiveness can be a motivation for us to reaffirm the values we share, to work harder than ever for the protection of the environment and those most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by the harms of pesticides.


At NCAP the core values by which we operate continue to guide our work:

  • Reaching long-term ecological balance and harmony between people, planet and profit takes ingenuity and persistence. As sure as nature changes, so must our approach.
  • Lasting change is possible when those who are directly impacted speak their own truth and organize their power.
  • Government has a responsibility to develop and enforce policies that protect the health and safety of people and the environment. It is our responsibility to help hold government accountable.
  • Sensitive populations set the bar for pesticide regulation. Protect the most sensitive and we are all better protected.
  • Considering who stands to lose and who benefits in all environmental decisions and actions is crucial to achieving social justice and equity.
  • Effective pest management requires an ecological approach that looks at the whole system and root causes, not only the symptoms.
  • People deserve to be treated with respect and patience, especially when asked to change their views and behaviors.

The outcome of this election means that those of us working for justice – racial, social, environmental, and otherwise– will have a steeper incline, a much heavier lift. It means we will have to defend existing health-protecting laws and policies more often than creating new ones. It is early and we don't know yet how this election will translate into policies and actions. One thing we do know is that change is coming and it does not look good for the environment, climate change and the pursuit of justice for all. We must focus, now, on the work that needs doing.

We will have to work to defend the pesticide alternatives policies and reforms already gained for clean water, wildlife and land conservation, organic and sustainable agriculture, and community and children’s health. We will have to build on NCAP’s efforts to demonstrate how farmers, schools, cities, and institutions can manage pests with ecological solutions and practices rather than with pesticides that harm the health of people and ecosystems.

This is a time to become more resolved to work for good. We must meet the challenges by cementing who we are, by standing firm in our values and with our allies and by seeking new alliances. These times call for us to stand together, with strength and courage, and focus on the task at hand no matter what happens around us. We will need this resolve, strength and courage as we adapt strategies and tactics and refocus our efforts to meet the challenges ahead.  

Now, more than ever, is the time to replenish our reserves for the greater struggle ahead to protect all communities and the environment from the harm caused by pesticides.

NCAP values equity, diversity and inclusion within our organization and with our partners to further our mission. NCAP’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion statement outlines how we seek to understand and address historical and current patterns of oppression and racism within our organization and in how we do our work. We will continue to build NCAP as an equitable, antiracist and multicultural organization where differences are seen as assets.

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” -Dr. Martin Luther King

Yes, we are in unchartered territory. Has our work just become harder? Yes. It is likely that Congress and the new administration will go in directions that will create roadblocks and make it more difficult for us to advance our mission. Fear and divisiveness will put the most vulnerable at increased risk.

Our task today is to come together and commit anew to NCAP’s mission and to stand with each other.

We ask you to join us and renew your commitment to the values and principles that guide NCAP as we work to protect community and environmental health and inspire the use of ecologically sound solutions to reduce the use of pesticides.

There is much more work to do.

To charting the path ahead,

Kim Leval

Executive Director

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