The midterm elections are coming up on November 4, and while we know they’re not as exciting as presidential elections, they’re arguably more important in regard to our everyday lives. As Roland S. Martin wrote in our October issue, “State representatives, state senators and governors—those officials elected during midterms—are the ones who make critical decisions on issues such as education, voting rights, abortion and economic development.”

In states like Texas, where the hotly contested gubernatorial race features Wendy Davis (of anti-abortion bill filibustering fame), and Utah, where Mia Love is vying for the chance to become the first Black Republican woman in Congress, our votes can make a big difference. Democrats also stand to lose a majority in the Senate, which could mean a tough and unproductive final two years of the Obama presidency.

Today, we’re launching #ImVotingFor, an ESSENCE initiative to drive African-Americans to the polls on November 4, 2014. Use the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to tell us what’s motivating you to cast your ballot on Election Day. We want to see and hear from you in the days leading up to November 4, on your way to the polls, and right after you’ve voted. 

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We have the chance to increase African-American voter turnout and to secure our political futures. Don’t get left behind!