November 23, 2021
Happy Tuesday, Columbus! Thanks again for joining us.
🎄 Today is the last chance to take our one-question survey about when to put up your Christmas tree. Results are coming Wednesday.
- Today's weather: Cold, clear skies. High of 41, low of 27.
Situational awareness: Columbus recorded its 176th homicide yesterday, now the highest total for any year in the city's history.
Today's newsletter is 600 words — a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: Perfect equality score
A national advocacy group gives Columbus top marks for its inclusiveness toward LGBTQ+ residents within local laws, services and city leadership.
Why it matters: The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Municipal Equality Index gives an annual snapshot of the varying factors that can impact the quality of life for LGBTQ+ residents.
What they found: Columbus scored a perfect 100 alongside alongside other big cities in Ohio such as Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron and Dayton.
The big picture: Most other top scores went to metropolises like Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.
Zoom in: Columbus earned the top rating for having non-discrimination laws and inclusive hiring practices in place.
- Other components include providing city services for LGTBQ+ youth and deploying a "Diversity & Inclusion Liaison" within the Columbus Division of Police.
The other side: Dublin received the lowest rating (45) of the eight Ohio cities studied.
- The wealthy suburb's lack of LGBTQ+ legal protections and failure to report 2019 hate crime statistics to the FBI contributed to its score.
2. A close look at Franklin County's new congressional map
Franklin County will be split into two congressional districts — one urban and one mostly rural — under a new map approved by Ohio lawmakers last week.
Driving the news: Gov. Mike DeWine signed the map into law on Friday, though one election rights lawyer has already announced plans to challenge the new district shapes in court.
- The map separates Ohio's 11.7 million residents into 15 equally-populated districts.
Zoom in: Should the map withstand legal scrutiny, Columbus-area residents would be split into two distinctly different districts. Here's a closer look at them:
3rd District: The GOP-drawn map includes just two Democratic-leaning districts across the state, and this is one of them.
- Located mostly within the I-270 outerbelt, it includes much of central and northern Columbus along with the communities of Worthington, Upper Arlington, Bexley, Whitehall, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg and others.
- The district would lean heavily blue, with the minority population making up close to half of all residents.
15th District: The rest of Franklin County would be located in this Republican-leaning district.
- This includes southern Columbus and German Village, along with the communities of Dublin, Hilliard, Westerville, New Albany, Grove City, Groveport, Canal Winchester and Obetz.
- Pairing these towns with all or parts of six rural counties in southwest Ohio gives the district a Republican tilt, though it is still close enough to be considered a "competitive" district.
- White constituents would make up more than 75% of its population.
3. Nutshells: Happy National Cashew Day!
🏘️ Central Ohio's housing market isn't cooling down. Home sales in 2021 are on pace to set a new record, while prices are up 9% from this time last year. (Columbus Realtors)
🎓 Ohio State University will pilot a new scholarship program offering debt-free undergraduate degrees next year. (NPR)
An Ohio missionary group says two of its 17 members kidnapped by a gang in Haiti last month have been freed and are safe. (AP)
🐒 The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed another baby langur. (Columbus Zoo)
🏗️ The planned North Market expansion, including a 31-story tower, cleared its first hurdle, but developers will have to cut through more red tape before it's official. (Columbus Underground)
4. 🏈 One rivalry to go
The No. 2 Buckeyes face That Team Up North at noon on Saturday in Ann Arbor.
- As is tradition, Ohio State students are covering up every monstrous "M" on campus with red tape this week.
📬 We want to know: What do you think the score will be? Hit reply and send us your predictions.
- The subscriber with the closest guess wins some Axios swag!
Check tomorrow's newsletter for your takes and a preview of The Game.
🎾 Tyler is headed to see "King Richard" tonight and is happy to take in some popcorn and big-screen tennis.
🦃 Alissa is already contemplating what pants will be the comfiest fit when she devours her family's Thanksgiving feast.