Axios Columbus

Picture of the Columbus skyline.

Happy Tuesday, Columbus! Thanks again for joining us.

πŸŽ„ 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 β€” a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Perfect equality score

Data: Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Graphic: Tyler Buchanan/Axios
Data: Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Graphic: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

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.

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.
Data: Human Rights Campaign Foundation; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

2. A close look at Franklin County's new congressional map

A zoom in of a new congressional map for Franklin County, Ohio, split between two districts.
Two districts make up Franklin County in the new congressional map approved by Ohio lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine. Photo courtesy of the Ohio state legislature

Franklin County will be split into two congressional districts β€” one urban and one mostly rural β€” 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!

Illustration of a pattern made up of several copies of the Ohio flag.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏘️ 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)

πŸŽ“ 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)

πŸ’ The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed another baby langur. (Columbus Zoo)

πŸ—οΈ 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

An information booth in front of Ohio Stadium has red tape in the shape of an X over the Ms in "stadium information"
Red tape is popping up on campus again, including in front of Ohio Stadium. Photo: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

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.

πŸ“¬ 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.

πŸ¦ƒ Alissa is already contemplating what pants will be the comfiest fit when she devours her family's Thanksgiving feast.