Prosser ‘Karen’ Halloween display: more than just a scarecrow

“The scarecrow came as part of a larger and longer series of harassment coming from City Hall,” said Maricela Sanchez.

PROSSER, Wash. — The story isn’t as simple as the city removing a Halloween display because the community is calling the scarecrow insensitive. One woman is calling it a targeted attack from the City, going on much longer than one might think.

The ‘Karen’ Halloween display was put up this weekend in front of the Prosser City Hall. It was meant to be entered into the Historic Downtown Prosser Decorating Contest. The City took all of the ‘Karen’ effects off of the scarecrow, before they took it down completely.

It was withdrawn from the contest following its removal. The City wrote in a media release that the display was, “Inconsistent with the spirit of the competition.”

According to Dr. Marciela Sanchez, it goes deeper than just an insensitive scarecrow.

“Without understanding the context, people think it’s just an off-color joke. But I think it’s important for people to understand that the Scarecrow came as part of a larger and longer series of harassment coming from City Hall,” said Dr. Sanchez.

RELATED: City of Prosser removes “Karen” Halloween display after community backlash

Born and raised in the City of Prosser, Dr. Sanchez and a group of others in the community organized against a bond the city proposed, exercising their right as citizens to do so on the bond. The community is set to vote on the bond at the upcoming November election.

Dr. Sanchez said it wasn’t just the bond they opposed, but what she said is the lack of transparency and community involvement.

“The city decided to buy this property to construct a new city hall, and they did all of this an executive session out of the public eye and then they bought the property outright, without consulting with the voters as to whether or not they wanted a new city hall to be built in the first place, let alone at that location,” Dr. Sanchez explained.

Dr. Sanchez said this scarecrow was meant to represent her and the organization she’s working with, as they’ve been targeted by another group in the community for opposing it.

“I’ve been targeted specifically more so than the men in our group and I think that’s just pretty classically, it’s probably easier for the city to attack women than to attack men,” said Dr. Sanchez.

She said the person behind these attacks works for the City, in the same department Dr. Sanchez volunteers in. She said she thought it was intended to look like a funny joke or innocent gesture. In the context of what’s conspired so far, she said the actions speak for itself.

“We have screenshots of dozens of posts of these two individuals calling me specifically and some others, ‘Marxist Karens’ and kind of perseverating on the whole Karen, Karen, Karen issue,” said Dr. Sanchez.

KAPP-KVEW LOCAL NEWS reached out to the person Dr. Sanchez said is responsible, and they said they had nothing to do with it. The station also reached out to the City for an official statement, but the City has yet to respond.

Dr. Sanchez said the situation has escalated to the point she is looking to pursue legal action.

“The harassment is no longer just online,” said Dr. Sanchez. “It’s physical, and it’s on city property.”

She said it’s a long-standing issue, and it’s something the City of Prosser has been made aware of, but they haven’t done anything yet.