Ilhan's policy advocacy accomplishments include:
- Supporting working families by winning paid parental leave for city employees. Ilhan also created advisory round tables for businesses run by immigrants, women, and people of color through the Small Business Initiative.
- Banning environmentally harmful containers, requiring commercial recycling, lifting restrictions on urban agriculture, and restricting the use of pollinator-harming pesticides.
- Expanding the use of restorative justice in Minneapolis, passing the Indigenous Peoples Day resolution, and forming a task force to examine the disproportionate impact pollution has on communities of color.
- Securing collaborative urban educator funding from the Minnesota State Legislature to support Augsburg College's East African Student to Teacher program.
- Promoting awareness and involvement in the electoral process in city, county and statewide races. As co-founder and chair of the New Americans PAC, she encouraged community members to contribute to the political process and informed them of important political issues.
- Passing a Minneapolis city ordinance (the first of its kind) to allow businesses to extend their hours 35 days a year to honor, respect and accommodate Muslims celebrating Ramadan.