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Do you have to have a kid to matter to your neighborhood?

As a childless resident of Boston’s South End for the past decade, and as a 39-year-old man who is also a university professor, I am curious to know whether RENÉE Loth would characterize me as a “young hipster” or an “empty-nester” (“Where are Boston’s kids?” Op-ed, Sept. 28). Apparently my partner and I and our middle-aged friends and neighbors who do not have children simply have no role to play in the neighborhood.

I suppose our support of urban arts initiatives, patronage of local businesses, volunteer work in community nonprofits, and involvement in neighborhood associations do not qualify us as valuable residents. Perhaps I should get a stroller for my dog so I can leave the house without shame.

Aaron Lecklider

Boston

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