Four Questions with Volunteer Jess Ivanoff


Jess IvanoffRole: ACS CAN Volunteer 

Hometown: Nome, Alaska  

Years Volunteering for ACS CAN: 1



How did you first get involved with ACS CAN? 

I first became involved in ACS CAN after reading the Alaska Tobacco Prevention Control (TPC) newsletter. The word ‘cancer’ caught my attention because I have had family members and friends pass away from cancer, ones that are courageously fighting, and ones that are in remission. Cancer is so prevalent here in Alaska especially amongst the Alaskan Native populations.  

How did you feel after that first meeting with a lawmaker? 

I recently had my first in-person meetings at the Capital. I made sure take it all in and listen while expressing the need for an increased tobacco tax and continued funding for tobacco prevention for the State of Alaska. Meeting with a lawmaker in-person rather than zoom was surreal. I am deeply grateful for time and energy that all Senators, Representatives, and their staff members commit to daily. I am particularly thankful my first in-person meeting was with a strong and knowledgeable team that included Emily Nenon our staff person and Beverly, a fellow volunteer.  

If someone said to you “I am not a political person, why should I get involved?” What would your response be? 

I never thought I would partake in a political movement. I try to remember that lawmakers are human. I try to speak honestly with respect, make a clear and concise argument, and most importantly speak from the heart.  

What types of things do you do as a volunteer for ACS CAN?   

I meet with Senators and Representatives on zoom and in-person to ask for their support. Luckily, ACS CAN Alaska has tremendous legislative support for taxing tobacco and continuing tobacco prevention control funding for villages here in the state of Alaska.  

Your Support CAN fight Cancer