Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle Miguel told the 2008 Democratic Party convention of his first meeting with Obama;
I first heard of Barack back in 1992. The year 1992 was a little like 2008. Then, as now, we needed to save the country from the misguided policies of a president named Bush. I was working with my old friend, Lou Pardo, a retired machinist, on an effort to register Latino voters in Chicago. One day, we were talking about how we could reach more voters and cover more ground, but we needed more resources. Lou told me we should go see Barack Obama, who was directing a voter-registration drive called Project Vote. So Lou met with Barack and, without missing a beat, Barack Obama helped us out. Barack Obama made sure that the thousands of Latinos in Chicago were registered to vote. He helped empower the Latino community and ensure that we were full participants in our democracy.
Lou Pardo is indeed a retired machinist, but he is also a socialist.
An article in Chicago DSA's New Ground November 1994 says;
Lou Pardo, a volunteer with Senator del Valle, DSA member and activist with the Midwest-Northeast Voter Registration Education Project, emphasized how important it was to support independent progressive democrats.
Pardo was honored by Chicago DSA, at their 1994 Debs-Thomas-Harrington awards dinner for his work on turning out the vote for leftist Democrats.
Your voter registration efforts have been recognized. In 1990, you were given the William C. Velasquez Volunteer of the Year Award at the 8th Annual U.S. Hispanic Leadership Conference. You have worked in the Midwest-Northeast Voter Registration Education Project in Senator Miguel del Valle's district. This project was a tremendous success, and on August 20, 1992, you were the recipient of an award by the Illinois State Democratic Convention for "historic efforts in registering thousands of new Illinois voters".