Community Profile: Meet Ilhan

Ilhan joined PANA to get out the vote in the June 7th, 2016 California primary election, she asked San Diego voters questions both on the phone and knocking on people’s doors. With Ilhan’s help and the support of the African American Civic Engagement Project, PANA successfully launched our first integrated voter engagement program prioritizing African immigrants and refugees.

Credit: PANA

Credit: PANA

My name is Ilhan and I stand for diversity, integrity and honesty. I want to help the community and ensure everyone is heard. It’s our job to work together to make this a better place to live.

I called people and asked them questions, and went knocking doors to remind people to vote. Before I did this, I didn’t really care for voting or really anything that has to do with the larger community, but once I got involved I saw how important it was to vote, and how much it matters for our community for all of us to ensure that we speak out if we want something to get done.

Something that really stood out was the fact that so many people don’t vote. I had always thought voting was a right and a big privilege. And many people we spoke with would say things like “Oh, I’m not sure if I’m going to vote, I’ll see what I’m doing that day.” And so that’s why I voted: I have the right to vote, so I’m going to go out and vote.