During last week's presidential primary in Michigan, more than 13% of Democratic voters marked an uncommitted option on their ballots to signal their support for a ceasefire in Gaza. Now, in solidarity with those voters, a ceasefire has become the focus of a grassroots write-in campaign for Super Tuesday. It's being led by the group Vote Ceasefire. At-large Somerville City Councilor Willie Burnley Jr., who is helping organize the effort here in Massachusetts, spoke with GBH’s Morning Edition co-host Paris Alston about the effort. This transcript has been lightly edited.

Paris Alston: Earlier this year, Vote Ceasefire launched a similar effort in the New Hampshire primary. And that shaped up just a week before the election. How has this movement gained steam since then?

Willie Burnley Jr.: It is happening organically, but it is happening with the kind of urgency that matches the scale of the issue. We're seeing an unprecedented amount of devastation in Gaza right now, and people are reacting really powerfully in our communities.

Alston: And which voters are you targeting in tomorrow's primary, and how?

Burnley: Well, we are talking — we talked to over 6,000 people just two days ago, by text banking and phone banking. We're talking to primary voters in Congressional Districts 5 and 7, which are represented by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Congresswoman [Katherine] Clark, specifically. And we're telling people that if they believe that we need a different path forward, we need to vote 'no preference' for a ceasefire.

Alston: And we know that Muslim Americans make up an estimated 2 million registered voters in the U.S., including 50,000 here in Massachusetts. Also, there are a lot of young voters who are starting to — I mean, maybe that would comprise a number of people that you know, maybe yourself, right? Who are starting to sway away from supporting President Biden because of this. Are they in that block, too?

Burnley: Absolutely. You know, I represent one of the youngest cities in the country. The prime demographic is really tween 25 and 35 years old, and my city was the first in the state to pass a ceasefire resolution. And we're seeing this movement spread to Medford, Cambridge, Northampton just passed a resolution. Lawrence has a chapter. It is incredible how organic and amazing it's been moving.

Alston: Now, I know this is a write-in campaign, but does it matter what they write in? I mean, could someone, you know, go and write Jaylen Brown as an uncommitted vote, or should it be specifically 'ceasefire'?

Burnley: Well, we're urging people now to vote no preference as our equivalent to the uncommitted vote that Michigan pulled off. And we're doing that because we want to form as strong of a cohesive movement as we possibly can to push the Biden administration forward, on a pathway that recognizes the humanity of Palestinians.

Alston: Now, in January, the Somerville City Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a ceasefire resolution. It was one of 70 city councils in the U.S. to do so. However, the Biden administration has not changed course. So what exactly did that do?

Burnley: Well, it started a movement across our Commonwealth. As I said, a number of other cities have pushed forward. We see further movement in Congress. When this all started, there were seldom few in Congress willing to speak about the plight of the Palestinians or to urge the Biden administration to fight for a ceasefire. And now we're seeing more and more people every day coming out in favor of this and pushing the administration.

Alston: And what should voters take away from that as they head to the polls, especially if they're looking at their city government and saying, okay, this resolution passed, but nothing has changed? What's the onus on them?

Burnley: I think they should actually see a lot of positivity from this movement. It tells me that their voices matter. When you have a majority of Americans who want a ceasefire, when you have over 80% of Democrats who want a ceasefire, we're seeing movement in Congress coming from grassroots voices that are pushing for peace and justice.

Alston: But if this happens for the primary, I mean, I know that this is just for the primary, but does it run the risk of pushing people in that direction for the general in November, too?

Burnley: Biden runs a risk of pushing people in that direction towards the general. If he wants to have this coalition stay cohesive, if he wants to have young people, people of color, queer folks — all of which I represent and am part of — supporting him, he needs to change course immediately. And he can do it by simply picking up the phone and demanding a ceasefire.

Alston: Now, Vice President Kamala Harris has come out and asked for a ceasefire in Gaza. Do you think that could push the needle for the Biden administration?

Burnley: I think it is a testament to the strength of this grassroots movement, that they have shifted tone on this. But a six-week temporary ceasefire is not what we're asking for. We need a permanent ceasefire. And we needed in order to get a negotiated peace on track.

Alston: What do you say to voters who feel that not taking a strong stance and supporting Israel in their defense against what happened on Oct. 7, if they say if Biden comes out and supports a ceasefire, that's actually going to make me vote against him — what do you say to those voters?

Burnley: I would say that the majority of Americans believe that this is a genocide, and we have a duty when a genocide is funded by our tax dollars and used through our weaponry to put an end to it. And although the things that happened on Oct. 7 were horrific, I'm just as concerned and even more concerned about what happened on Oct. 8, 9 and all the way to today, where we see the rate of nutritional health for children has declined in the fastest time in recorded human history. We are seeing unprecedented amounts of people being going through force, starvation and violence, and that can all be stopped by U.S. political and financial leverage.

Alston: Now, come November, councilor, if the president has not changed course, what will you do on your ballot?

Burnley: I will not vote for anyone who is supporting a genocide. If that is the president's choice, then he is risking American democracy and his agenda and legacy for a foreign country.

Alston: Well, that is At-large Somerville City Councilor Willie Burnley Jr., who is also an organizer of Vote Cease Fire's Massachusetts campaign counselor. Thank you so much.

Burnley: Thank you for having me.