Why does the City of Virginia Beach use SpeakUpVB.com?

The City of Virginia Beach uses SpeakUpVB.com as its official public engagement portal to educate the community on important issues facing the city and to capture the public’s opinions, suggestions and comments. SpeakUpVB.com is owned by the City, but the software platform is provided by the company Public Input through a contract with the City of Virginia Beach. This portal is used because it offers more resources and abilities to capture and report resident input and information than is currently possible with the City of Virginia Beach website, virginiabeach.gov.

Do I need to create a profile on SpeakUpVB.com?

Creating a profile on SpeakUpVB.com is not required, but it does offer multiple advantages, including:

  • You can complete multiple surveys without having to re-enter personal information.
  • You can return to open surveys to view or change your responses.
  • Your responses to input opportunities are saved in your profile. If you encounter any technical problems using SpeakUpVB.com, staff members can view this data to help troubleshoot and resolve problems.

When you first visit SpeakUpVB.com, you will be given the opportunity to create a profile. Or you can go to the "View my Profile" tab on the main public portal page.

How does the City of Virginia Beach use the personal information that I provide in my profile on SpeakUpVB.com?

The City of Virginia Beach follows a policy for the use of personal information, including information that is gathered from SpeakUpVB.com. Learn how the City of Virginia Beach uses information on the website.

There is no submit button. How do I submit my answers to survey questions?

Some survey questions record your response as it is made (you’ll see your selection and an option to change your response). Other types of questions ask you to select a response and another button to confirm your response. Those who have created a profile on SpeakUpVB.com may return to open surveys anytime within the survey period to see their responses and make changes, if needed.

How are the results of surveys used?

The Public Engagement unit of the Communications Office in the City of Virginia Beach gathers and analyzes the data from surveys on SpeakUpVB.com as well as input from community meetings and events, then provides it to City leaders. City leaders use public input — in addition to other information sources and factors — to help make decisions and form policies on important issues. In addition to completing surveys and providing comments on SpeakUpVB.com, residents can provide their ideas by contacting their City councilmember;  speaking at City Council meetings; and attending community and district meetings.

The Virginia Beach City Council is prioritizing public input. The FY24-25 Focused Action Plan includes several specific initiatives to increase the opportunities for residents to provide input and feedback.

You can learn about the results of resident input on specific issues at SpeakUpVB.com and through resources on the City Council webpage, including agendas, documents and live-streamed and archived videos of the meetings.

Why am I asked to answer demographic questions? How are the results of demographic questions used?

Surveys on SpeakUpVB.com and the printed versions of the surveys request voluntary demographic information to ensure that input is coming from all segments of the Virginia Beach population. Staff members analyze this information and make adjustments in outreach as needed. For example, if results are showing that residents in a specific district are participating at a lower rate than other districts, new tactics may be added, such as a community event in that district, to attempt to provide more residents with the opportunity to participate.

What about those who do not have access to a computer or internet or simply prefer to complete surveys on paper?

Anyone who would prefer to complete SpeakUpVB surveys on paper or who needs assistance in completing surveys is encouraged to enlist the help of Virginia Beach Public Library staff members to access information and complete the survey. Each library can provide printed versions of the survey to be completed while in the library and returned to library staff to be sent through interoffice mail to the Communications Department. Alternatively, surveys may be taken home to be completed and mailed to the Communications Department. The address is listed on the printed survey.

What if I have a problem using SpeakUpVB.com or a question about a survey?

If there is a point of contact for a specific survey, the contact name and telephone number will be listed in the project. Questions about survey issues may emailed to speakup@vbgov.com.

Are survey results on SpeakUpVB.com generalizable to the whole population?

In order for survey results to be generalizable to a whole population, each person in that population must have a known chance to participate in the survey. Survey results available on SpeakUpVB.com represent only the opinions of those who go to the portal and choose to participate in each survey on their own. While the City of Virginia Beach uses many resources to help ensure that all members of the community have the opportunity to provide input, respondents are not chosen by random sample. This means that the results are not representative of the total population. They are, however, valuable and appreciated.