Kahn has been a leading opponent of efforts by DeLaSalle High School (Minneapolis) to construct an athletic field on its campus in her neighborhood on Nicollet Island. She has been an outspoken critic of the field plan and has stated her views vehemently and frequently at public hearings.
Kahn was elected to represent Minneapolis in 1972 and has continuously served since that time, most recently winning re-election in 2006. As of the 2006 Election, She serves as the chair of the State Government Finance Division Committee, and serves on the Finance; Government Operations, Reform, Technology and Elections; Minnesota Heritage Finance Division, and Ways and Means committees.
Kahn has a reputation for advocating positions not taken by many others. She was the chief author and advocate of the 1975 Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act; one of the first laws enacted anywhere in the world banning the smoking of tobacco in public places. This law has been used as a template for virtually all later legislation to protect the public from "second hand smoke", and was updated and expanded in 2005. In 1989, she proposed reducing the voting age in Minnesota to 12 years. She said "history has shown us that when a segment of society is denied the right to vote, all the rights of that segment of society are then inferior."
September 2008 Kahn was forcibly removed by University of Minnesota Police from a residence hall for improper campaigning.